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Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society

Author

Listed:
  • Robert J. Barro

    () (Harvard University)

Abstract

Since 1991, Robert Barro has been a lively contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other popular financial media. Getting It Right brings together, updates, and expands upon these writings that showcase Barro's agility in applying economic understanding to a wide array of social issues. Barro, a "conservative who takes no prisoners," and a self-described libertarian, believes that most governments have gone much too far in their spending, taxation, and regulation. The dominant theme in these wide-ranging essays is the importance of institutions that ensure property rights and free markets. The discussion deals especially with the appropriate range of government: which areas represent useful public policy and which are unnecessary interference. The first section of the book considers these questions in the context of the determinants of long-run economic growth. In addition to basic economics, Barro assesses related political topics, such as the role of public institutions, the optimal size of countries, and the consequences of default on foreign debt. The second section deals with the proper role and form of monetary policy. Barro argues that government should provide markets with a stable nominal framework and then stay out of the way to best allow for price stability. Writings in the third section cover fiscal and other macroeconomic policies. Topics include the distorting influences of taxation, especially taxes on capital income; infrastructure investment and other government spending; and the consequences of public debt and budget deficits. In a final section, Barro looks at more micro issues such as cartels, tax amnesties, school choice, privatization, cigarette-smoking regulation, endangered species regulation, the market for baseball players, and term limits for politicians.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro, 1997. "Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522268, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262522268
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry, 2004. "Chinese Currency Controversies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    4. Allan H. Meltzer, 1991. "U.S. policy in the Bretton Woods era," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 54-83.
    5. Peter M. Garber, 1993. "The Collapse of the Bretton Woods Fixed Exchange Rate System," NBER Chapters,in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 461-494 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen, 1998. "Implications of the Great Depression for the Development of the International Monetary System," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 403-454 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen, 1993. "A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord93-1, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Julia Ruiz Pozuelo & Amy Slipowitz & Guillermo Vuletin, 2016. "Democracy Does Not Cause Growth: The Importance of Endogeneity Arguments," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 95018, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Yvonne Schindele, 2010. "How Long Does it Take to Become an Entrepreneurial Society - The Case of German Convergence in Self-Employment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-015, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    3. repec:eee:gamebe:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:260-276 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Julia Ruiz Pozuelo & Amy Slipowitz & Guillermo Vuletin, 2016. "Democracy Does Not Cause Growth: The Importance of Endogeneity Arguments," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7758, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Tiwari Aviral Kumar, 2011. "Foreign Aid, FDI, Economic Freedom and Economic Growth in Asian Countries," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-28, September.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2014. "Democracy Does Cause Growth," NBER Working Papers 20004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Wu, Jiabin, 2016. "Political Institutions and Preference Evolution," MPRA Paper 69597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Kamal Upadhyaya & Gyan Pradhan & Dharmendra Dhakal & Rabindra Bhandari, 2007. "Foreign Aid, FDI and Economic Growth in East European Countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 6(13), pages 1-9.
    9. Mark Thornton, 2004. "Prohibition vs. Legalization: Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 82-105, April.
    10. Pedro Pou, 1997. "What lessons can be learned from recent financial crises? : the Argentine experience," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 141-167.
    11. TreviƱo, Len J. & Mixon, Franklin G., 2004. "Strategic factors affecting foreign direct investment decisions by multi-national enterprises in Latin America," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 233-243, August.
    12. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:6:y:2007:i:13:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Andrei S. Akhremenko & Alexander Petrov, 2014. "Efficiency, Policy Selection, And Growth In Democracy And Autocracy: A Formal Dynamical Model," HSE Working papers WP BRP 16/PS/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    property rights; free markets; public policy; monetary policy; fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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