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Luisa Giuriato

concept of interest in public activity as interest in the common good. The common good is defined as ‘the utility of all members of the society and especially of those who cannot contribute with their sacrifice to the financing of the public expenditure, as their weakness makes them the first natural beneficiaries of the public action’ (Vanoni, 1945 [1976], pp. 149–50). Thus, Vanoni introduces a difference principle, similar to other formulations introduced by contemporary political doctrines (Laski, 1931), which is reminiscent of Rawls’s approach. A theory of justice

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Timothy P. Roth

“standards” to guide as well as limit the agency or official in the performance of its assigned task’ (p. 81). The result has been that there have been only two instances in which the Court found grants of discretion to be ‘unbounded, hence standardless’ and, therefore, unconstitutional. We know, moreover, that the Court has found the following ‘standards’ to be constitutionally adequate: ‘excessive profits’, ‘unfair and inequitable distribution of voting power’, ‘fair and equitable commodities prices’, ‘just and reasonable rates’, ‘public interest’, ‘public convenience

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Francesco Forte and Domenico D’Amico

and supply of goods in the market. However, the case is to be judged not from the point of view of private businesses, which have a natural interest in extending their area of supply, but from the point of view of the taxpayer/consumer of public goods. Second, if taxes are the price for public services, it follows that, for free public goods, the right of consumers to choose will prevail. The domain of this principle, which is often applied through ‘vouchers’, could be quite wide: from the area of education, with school choice, to that of public health services and

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Timothy P. Roth

embrace of a public philosophy, modern liberalism, which, on the one hand, insists that agents possess antecedent or ‘natural rights’ against others’ political, altruistic or moralistic preferences (Chapter 4) and, on the other hand, regards the economist’s intendedly value-free, institutionless and relentlessly utilitarian theory of the state as instrumental to the ‘perfectibility’ of the market system (Chapters 4 and 5). While the logical, empirical and ontological problems that attend modern liberalism (Chapter 6) and its concomitant, social welfare theory (Chapter

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Economists and the State

What Went Wrong

Timothy P. Roth

Adam Smith is widely regarded as the ‘founder of modern economics’. The author shows, however, that Smith’s procedurally based, consequence-detached political economy, an approach shared by America’s Founders, finds no expression in the economist’s utilitarian, procedurally-detached theory of the state. This ‘wrong turn’ has meant that, if economists are ill-equipped to address an expanding federal enterprise in which utilitarian considerations trump the Smithian/Madisonian idea that means and ends must be morally and constitutionally constrained, they are also ineffectual bystanders as growing institutional skepticism, demands for ‘social justice’ and metastasizing rights claims threaten our self-governing republic.
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Pascal Salin

, they would try to obtain higher wages thanks to the experience they had accumulated in the previous firm; on the other, they might have a very specific role which could not be valued as highly elsewhere. Anyhow, they do know that there is a certain probability that they will leave the firm in the future. Therefore, it is in their interest to try to get short-term benefits, even if it is at the expense of longer-run benefits. As far as worker representatives can influence strategic decisions, they may be inclined to favor increases in present wages, more comfortable working

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José Casas Pardo

interest, and even in sometimes disagreeing in public with the policies of their own party and its leaders, should not remain in politics for a long time. 2.2 The Lack of Enough Democracy within Political Parties Relatively, there is too little democracy within the political parties. To begin with, their members include only a very small fraction of the population. In addition, the means of becoming the leader of a political party (and therefore, a potential ruler) is generally rather undemocratic: manoeuvring, being subservient to the people above, creating power

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Timothy P. Roth

interest rate on second mortgages for five years. As an alternative, it will pay holders of second mortgages to extinguish that debt. (Simon 2009) Finally, if the mortgage-modification program violates the Founders’ equal treatment imperative, the same is true of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) and the Unlocking Credit for Small Business Program (UCSB). Whereas the former underwrites automobile loans, student loans and credit card debt, the latter does the same for small business loans. It is tautological Columns Design XML Ltd / Job: Roth

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Roger D. Congleton

12. Informational limits to public policy: ignorance and the jury theorem† Roger D. Congleton 1 PUBLIC CHOICE AND PUBLIC POLICY The positive, or scientific, strand of the public choice research program attempts to analyze how democratic institutions operate and the extent to which its various theories explain real democratic policy choices. It addresses such questions as: to what extent does electoral competition determine public policies? Are interest groups able to operate behind the scenes in a manner that distorts public policies away from those preferred by

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Marcello Basili and Maurizio Franzini

11. Cooperation, reciprocity and selfesteem: a theoretical approach Marcello Basili and Maurizio Franzini Introduction Cooperation among genetically unrelated agents is widely observed in behavioral experiments and in everyday life, even when repeated interaction is absent. In most cases economic theory does not contemplate it. Basically, cooperation among strangers is ruled out by the usual assumptions of self-interested behavior. Only repeated interaction may reconcile traditional self-interest with cooperation. We lack an explanation of how cooperation can