Public Finance: Essay for the Encyclopedia of Public Choice
AbstractPublic Finance is the branch of economics that studies the taxing and spending activities of government. The term is something of a misnomer, because the fundamental issues are not financial (that is, relating to money). Rather, the key problems relate to the use of real resources. For this reason, some practitioners prefer the label public sector economics or simply public economics. Public finance encompasses both positive and normative analysis. Positive analysis deals with issues of cause and effect, for example, “If the government cuts the tax rate on gasoline, what will be the effect on gasoline consumption?” Normative analysis deals with ethical issues, for example, “Is it fairer to tax income or consumption?” Modern public finance focuses on the microeconomic functions of government, how the government does and should affect the allocation of resources and the distribution of income. For the most part, the macroeconomic functions of government--the use of taxing, spending, and monetary policies to affect the overall level of unemployment and the price level--are covered in other fields.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 122.
Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Holcombe, R.G., 1998.
"Tax Policy from Public Choice Perspective,"
1998_03_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
- Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
- Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.