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Intermediate Public Economics


  • Jean Hindriks

    () (Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Gareth D. Myles

    () (University of Exeter)


Public economics studies how government taxing and spending activities affect the economy--economic efficiency and the distribution of income and wealth. This comprehensive text in public economics covers the core topics market failure and taxation as well as recent developments in the political economy and public choice literatures. It is unique not only in its broad scope but in its balance between public finance and public choice and its combination of theory and relevant empirical evidence. After introducing the theory and methodology of public economics and reviewing the efficiency of the competitive equilibrium, the book presents a historical and theoretical overview of the public sector. It then discusses departures from efficiency, including imperfect competition and asymmetric information; issues in political economy, including rent-seeking (a topic often omitted from other texts); equity; taxation issues, including tax evasion and its consequences; fiscal federalism and tax competition among independent jurisdictions; and the intertemporal issues of social security and economic growth. This text introduces the reader to the theory of public economics and the most significant results of the analysis, providing an overview of the current state of the field. It is accessible to anyone with a background of intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics and can be used in advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses. Although the mathematics has been kept to a minimum, the book remains analytical rather than discursive. Annotated suggestions for further reading and numerous exercises are included at the end of each chapter.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Hindriks & Gareth D. Myles, 2006. "Intermediate Public Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262083442, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262083442

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Fixed versus flexible exchange rates: Which provides more fiscal discipline?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 399-436, April.
    2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fixing for Your Life," NBER Working Papers 8006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    4. Ricardo Hausmann & Michael Gavin & Carmen Pagés & Ernesto H. Stein, 1999. "Financial Turmoil and the Choice of Exchange Rate Regime," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1108, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Kenen, Peter B., 2000. "Currency areas, policy domains, and the institutionalization of fixed exchange rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20170, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445.
    7. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "New directions for stochastic open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 117-153, February.
    8. Miguel A Savastano & Paul R Masson & Sunil Sharma, 1997. "The Scope for Inflation Targeting in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/130, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Amartya Lahiri & Carlos A. Végh, 2002. "Living with the Fear of Floating: An Optimal Policy Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 663-704 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Klein, Michael W. & Marion, Nancy P., 1997. "Explaining the duration of exchange-rate pegs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 387-404, December.
    11. Ball, Laurence, 1992. "Why does high inflation raise inflation uncertainty?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 371-388, June.
    12. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
    13. Svensson, Lars E. O., 2000. "Open-economy inflation targeting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 155-183, February.
    14. David Romer, 1993. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 869-903.
    15. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
    16. Sebastian Edwards & Miguel A. Savastano, 1999. "Exchange Rates in Emerging Economies: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?," NBER Working Papers 7228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    public economics; social security; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General


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