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Hardcover | $44.00 Short | £32.95 | ISBN: 9780262024624 | 282 pp. | 5.7 x 8 in | October 1999

Public Finance and Public Choice

Two Contrasting Visions of the State


In this volume, based on a week-long symposium at the University of Munich's Center for Economic Studies, two leading scholars of governmental economics debate their divergent perspectives on the role of government and its fiscal functions. James M. Buchanan, who was influential in developing the research program in public choice, concentrates on the imperfections of the political process and stresses the need for rules to restrain governmental interference. Richard A. Musgrave, a founder of modern public finance, points to market failures and inequities that call for corrective public policies. They apply their differing economic and political philosophies to a variety of key issues. Each presentation is followed by a response and general discussion.


“Two towering pillars of 20th century public economics examine the deep foundations of their own thought and their common subject. Who could resist the chance to eavesdrop on their reflections? Certainly not anyonewho cares about the role of government in modern society.”
Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT