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Edited by Francesco Forte, Ram Mudambi and Pietro Maria Navarra

This comprehensive and thought-provoking Handbook reviews public sector economics from pluralist perspectives that either complement or reach beyond mainstream views. The book takes a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, drawing on economic elements in the fields of philosophy, sociology, psychology, history and law.
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Deficits, Debt, and Democracy

Wrestling with Tragedy on the Fiscal Commons

Richard E. Wagner

This timely book reveals that the budget deficits and accumulating debts that plague modern democracies reflect a clash between two rationalities of governance: one of private property and one of common property. The clashing of these rationalities at various places in society creates forms of societal tectonics that play out through budgeting. The book demonstrates that while this clash is an inherent feature of democratic political economy, it can nonetheless be limited through embracing once again a constitution of liberty.
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Richard E. Wagner

This book advances a social-theoretic treatment of public finance, which contrasts with the typical treatment of government as an agent of intervention into a market economy. To start, Richard Wagner construes government not as an agent but as a polycentric process of interaction, just as is a market economy. The theory of markets and the theory of public finance are thus construed as complementary components of a broader endeavor of social theorizing, with both seeking to provide insight into the emergence of generally coordinated relationships within society. The author places analytical focus on emergent processes of development rather than on states of equilibrium, and with much of that development set in motion by conflict among people and their plans.
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Political Economy and Public Finance

The Role of Political Economy in the Theory and Practice of Public Economics

Edited by Stanley L. Winer and Hirofumi Shibata

There is a long-standing difference amongst public economists between those who think that collective choice must be formally acknowledged, and those who derive their policy recommendations from a social planning framework in which politics plays no role. The purpose of this book is to contribute to a meaningful dialogue between these two groups, in the belief that the future of both political economy and of normative public finance lies somewhere between the two approaches. Some of the specific questions addressed in the book include: does public finance need political economy? Should collective choice play a role in the standard of reference used in normative public finance? What is a ‘failure’ in a non-market or policy process? And what have we learned about the theory and practice of public finance from three decades of empirical research on public choice? The book also provides a practitioner’s view of the political economy of redistribution.
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Flip Palda

Tax Evasion and Firm Survival in Competitive Markets illustrates how a firm with high production costs but which is easily able to evade taxes may displace from the market a company with low production costs but poor tax evasion capabilities. The difference in production costs between the inefficient survivor and the efficient loser is termed by the author the ‘displacement loss from taxation’, and rivals in size the Harberger triangle loss from taxation.