Transformational Growth and Full Employment
Edited by Edward J. Nell and Mathew Forstater
Richard A. Musgrave I have been asked to say a few words about my life in public finance, an addiction that by now has extended for over 70 years. Throughout I have drawn on three diverse traditions: German Finanzwissenschaft; British thought from Smith, to Mill to Pigou; and WicksellÕs and LindahlÕs Scandinavian model. When I came to the United States from Germany in 1933, I had already studied economics for three years in Munich and Heidelberg. The former was a city I chose in anticipation of opera and skiing and the latter was the site of a then recent renaissance in fiscal thought. The classical German Finanzwissenschaft of Stein and Wagner, with its emphasis on the state as decision maker, had reached its high point in the 1880s and 1890s but thereafter had gone dormant. At that time, that tradition was revived in HeidelbergÕs INSOSTA Institute. Gerhard ColmÕs work continued the Wagner tradition; Pfleiderer brought national income analysis into the picture; Sultan resumed Joseph SchumpeterÕs interest in fiscal sociology; and Ritschl related back to MŸllerÕs and SpannÕs very German concept of a romantic vision of community. So as a student in Germany I was well aware of the German public finance tradition. That tradition was not unfamiliar to earlier American authors, such as Adams and Seligman who had both studied in Germany, but it was quite alien to the English fiscal theorists from Smith on. Most important, English authors were unfamiliar with...
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