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Public Economics

Public Economics
Selected Papers by William Vickrey


Jacques Drèze, Richard Arnott, Kenneth Arrow, Anthony Atkinson
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  • Date Published: March 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521597630

£ 45.99

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About the Authors
  • Nobel Prize winner the late William Vickrey was one of the truly important figures in contemporary economics. Over the past fifty-five years he has published several books and some 140 papers scattered over many journals. This book offers a thoughtful selection from these papers, organised so as to bring out the scope and yet the unity of the work. Vickrey has the unique distinction of having contributed, often seminally and always operationally, to all major branches of public economics. The papers collected here cover social choice and allocation mechanisms, taxation, pricing in public utilities and in urban transportation, urban economics, and macroeconomic policies. Each topic is introduced by one of the four editors, and the book is completed with a full annotated bibliography of Vickrey's work. For the first time, we have convenient access to a set of important, creative and stimulating contributions, which have helped shape the modern field of public economics. This is a fascinating overview of the field and of the life-time work of a great economist.

    • High profile author, 1996 Nobel prizewinner, untimely death
    • A representative collection of Vickrey's work for the first time conveniently accessible in a single volume
    • Topical introductions to the major branches of public economics by the four, very well-known, editors
    • Contains a full annotated bibliography of the lifetime work of a great economist
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Bill Vickrey is an economist's economist; not only an original and creative theorist but, wonder of wonders, inventor of brilliant ways of applying those theories. While many difficult selection choices had to be made, the best known of Vickrey's pieces - including, for example, the famous 'Counterspeculation, auctions …', 'Some objections to marginal cost pricing' articles, and the remarkable ' … New York's subway fare structure' proposal - are all here together with a fine sampling of other valuable contributions. The volume also contains helpful introductions, by an all-star cast of economists, to all the major categories of Vickrey's professional work.' Jack Hirshleifer, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521597630
    • length: 572 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.99kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 24 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: William Vickrey Jacques Drèze and Richard Arnott
    Part I. Social Choice and Allocation Mechanisms: Introduction Kenneth Arrow
    1. Measuring marginal utility by reactions to risk
    2. Utility, strategy and social decision rules
    3. Counterspeculation, auctions and competitive sealed tenders
    4. Auctions and bidding games
    Part II. Taxation: Introduction Anthony Atkinson
    5. Averaging of income for income tax purposes
    6. Cumulative averaging after thirty years
    7. An integrated successions tax
    8. Expenditure, capital gains and the basis of progressive taxation
    9. The problems of progression
    Part III. Marginal Cost Pricing: Introduction Jacques Drèze
    10. Marginal and average cost pricing
    11. Some objections to marginal cost pricing
    12. Responsive pricing of public utility services
    13. Airline overbooking: some further solutions
    Part IV. Pricing Urban Transportation: Introduction Richard Arnott
    14. A proposal for revising New York's subway fare structure
    15. Pricing in urban and suburban transport
    16. Congestion theory and transport investment
    Part V. Urban Economics: Introduction Richard Arnott
    17. The city as a firm
    18. General and specific financing of urban services
    19. The impact on land values of taxing building
    Part VI. Macroeconomic Policy: Introduction Jacques Drèze
    20. The optimum trend of prices
    21. Design as a market anti-inflation program
    22. Necessary and optimum government debt
    23. Today's tasks for economists
    Part VII. Miscellany: Introduction Richard Arnott
    24. Resources distribution patterns and the classification of families
    25. On the prevention of gerrymandering
    26. One economist's view of philanthropy
    Bibliography of William Vickrey.

  • Author

    William Vickrey


    Richard Arnott, Boston College, Massachusetts

    Anthony B. Atkinson, Nuffield College, Oxford

    Kenneth Arrow, Stanford University, California

    Jacques H. Drèze, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium


    Jacques Drèze, Richard Arnott, Kenneth Arrow, Anthony Atkinson

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