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The Growth of the Public Sector : Theories and International Evidence (Hardcover)

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Product Overview

This important new book offers fresh insights into the growth of the public sector in advanced and developing economies.
The economic causes and consequences of changes in the size of the public sector (especially changes in public expenditure) have fascinated economists from the time of Adam Smith. From the early 1960s, interest has focused particularly on changes in the share of national income devoted to public expenditure. This has exhibited a long-run upward trend since 1945 in almost all OECD countries. Substantial fluctuations over shorter periods have also been observed. Understanding the processes underlying these phenomena is of clear importance for public policy makers, and economists have developed numerous theories attempting to explain them. The major questions of interest are: what 'forces' have been causing the share of public expenditure in GDP to rise over the longer term? Are these forces susceptible to policy? Is the public sector taking an increasing share of 'real' resources? Can government attempts in major OECD countries to control or reduce the size of the public sector in the 1980s and 1990s be sustained? What consequences follow from their success or failure?
The Growth of the Public Sector focuses on this important issue and assesses the contribution to current knowledge of different theories including public choice, bureaucracy models, relative price effects and Wagner's Law. It also contains a number of new case studies focusing on specific government activities such as education, health and social security.


Publisher Edward Elgar Pub
Mfg Part# 9781852785253
SKU 209959314
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 185278525X
Release Date 10/24/2008
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