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Public Finance and Public Policy
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  • 136 b/w illus. 42 tables
  • Page extent: 780 pages
  • Size: 253 x 177 mm
  • Weight: 1.278 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521001144 | ISBN-10: 0521001145)

This textbook systematically sets forth the basic issues involved in public finance and public policy. All issues investigated explore the choice between voluntary market decision to earn and spend income versus assignment of responsibility to governments to tax and spend. Areas covered are markets and property, collective benefits, voting on public speaking, market corrections, social justice, political processes and redistribution, taxation, user pricing, public policy for welfare issues, and the question of how much government is needed in the modern state. It is designed for courses in public finance or public economics, with additions given in courses titled political economy. The basic material in each chapter may be used by students with an elementary understanding of economics. Chapter supplements are designed for upper-level undergraduates. Graduate students will find the text answers fundamental questions addressed in the professional literature. All chapters provide useful question sets and guidance for further reading.

• Students with just one year of economics can master the text; supplements in each chapter useful for upper-level undergraduates and graduates • Question sets and examples in every chapter • Author specialist in public choice, public economics, and political economy, well-known in Europe as well as North America


1. Markets and property; 2. Collective benefits; 3. Voting and public goods; 4. Market corrections; 5. Social insurance and social justice; 6. Politics and redistribution; 7. Taxation; 8. User pricing; 9. Health, education, and retirement; 10. How much government?


'Hillman's remarkable text, building upon his own work as well as the contributions of other pioneering authors, breaks new ground in integrating traditional public finance with recent developments in public choice and political economy. In a balanced and impartial way, the book introduces the student not just to the principles of taxation and government expenditure but also to deeper questions posed by the nature of social justice, the efficacy and drawbacks of market and governmental solutions, the operation of bureaucracies, rent-seeking behavior, and political competition.' Jack Hirshleifer, University of California, Los Angeles

'Public choice, as an economic theory of politics, emerged in mid-century because of gaps in the research agenda of public finance. Somewhat surprisingly, however, modern public choice and public finance research programs have never been fully integrated. This book admirably meets this objective. It offers a sophisticated and comprehensive treatment of questions involving when and why politics arises, how politics can be predicted to work in practice, and how limits can be placed on political excesses. A well-informed, well-written treatise useful for several levels of readership.' James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate, George Mason University

'Arye Hillman's new undergraduate text provides a strikingly rich, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and unusually comprehensive overview of academic thinking about the role of government in the economy, emphasizing the role of political institutions in shaping how governments behave, and the resulting trade-offs between private and public provision. This book has managed to capture many of the latest ideas in a way that still remains eminently accessible to undergraduate students. It is a delight to read.' Roger Gordon, University of California, San Diego

'This book provides a comprehensive and accessible discussion of the core issues in public finance and public policy. While designed as a textbook, the book is an organizing guide for practitioners and policymakers, who will find particularly useful the application of concepts to issues in income support and work incentives, education, health care, and the choice between tax financing and user prices.' Sanjeev Gupta, Chief, Policy Expenditure Division, International Monetary Fund, Washington DC

'This fascinating book provides a clear account of the role of government through public finance and public policy and gives a balanced and insightful analysis of the scope and limits of what government can or should do. The book in particular highlights the essential roles of property rights and information. Students will like the clear exposition immensely, and researchers will benefit from the book as a reference volume.' Kai A. Konrad, Social Science Research Center, Berlin and Free University of Berlin

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