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Forty Years of Public Economics: A Personal Perspective

  • Jacques H. Dreze

This paper presents a personal perspective on the field of public economics with emphasis on the interplay of theory and applications. In the early 1950s, theoretical developments grew out of practical applications. Yet, few economists succeed in creatively linking theory to real problems and our professional organization fails to promote adequately such contributions. The author also discusses briefly the success of public economics, its fragmentation into subfields, and its relation to macroeconomics. The writing of this paper was prompted by the author's participation in editing a volume of selected papers by William Vickrey, whose work is exemplary of the perspective presented here.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.9.2.111
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 9 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 111-130

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:9:y:1995:i:2:p:111-30
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.2.111
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  1. Herbert E. Scarf, 1994. "The Allocation of Resources in the Presence of Indivisibilities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1068, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Bohm, Peter, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 135-151, July.
  3. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1991. "A temporal and spatial equilibrium analysis of commuter parking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-335, August.
  4. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  5. Sandmo, Agnar, 1983. "Leif Johansen's contribution to public economics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 317-324, August.
  6. TULKENS, Henry, . "Dynamic processes for public goods. An institution-oriented survey," CORE Discussion Papers RP -333, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
  8. Groves, Theodore & Loeb, Martin, 1975. "Incentives and public inputs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 211-226, August.
  9. Samuelson, P. A., 1986. "Theory of optimal taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 137-143, July.
  10. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  11. John McMillan, 1994. "Selling Spectrum Rights," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 145-162, Summer.
  12. Peter Bohm, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Framed Field Experiments 00129, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Jerry A. Hausman & James M. Poterba, 1987. "Household Behavior and the Tax Reform Act of 1986," NBER Working Papers 2120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. William Vickrey, 1948. "Some Objections to Marginal-Cost Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 218.
  15. Boyes, William J & Happel, Stephen K, 1989. "Auctions as an Allocation Mechanism in Academia: The Case of Faculty Offices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 37-40, Summer.
  16. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  17. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  18. Dreze, Jacques H. & Arrow, Kenneth & Atkinston, Anthony B. & Basu, Kaushik & Honkapohja, Seppo & Krueger, Anne & Morales, Juan-Antonio & Stern, Nicholas, 1994. "Report of the IEA Committee on a new School of Economics and Economic Development (SEED) in the Third World," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, September.
  19. Peter Mieszkowski & Edwin S. Mills, 1993. "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 135-147, Summer.
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