1st Edition

Studies in the History of Public Economics

Edited By Gilbert Faccarello, Richard Sturn Copyright 2012

    Many important economic and political debates today refer to the nature and the role of the State: should governments intervene in the economy and interfere with the operation of markets? In which occasions, and how? In order to better understand these questions and the controversies they have raised, this book re-considers the debates crucial for the issues at stake, the most important schools of thought, and the central concepts in an historical perspective. After a tribute to Sir Alan Peacock and the first publication of two hitherto unpublished papers written in the 1950s, the chapters focus on important developments that occurred in Europe during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The final part includes contributions on public economics after World War II, focusing on concepts such as merit goods, externalities and the “Coase theorem”.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought.

    Part I: Introduction  1. The challenge of the history of public economics Gilbert Faccarello and Richard Sturn  2. Public economics and history of economic thought: a personal memoir Alan Peacock  3. Two unpublished papers from the 1950s Alan Peacock and Jack Wiseman  Part II: England  4. Jeremy Bentham, the French Revolution, and the political economy of representation (1788 to 1789) Marco E.L. Guidi  5. Collective interest versus individual interest in Bentham’s felicific calculus. Questioning welfarism and fairness Antoinette Baujard  6. Pareto, Pigou and third-party consumption: divergent approaches to welfare theory with implications for the study of public finance Michael McLure  Part III: France  7. Progressive indirect taxation and social justice in eighteenth-century France: Forbonnais and Graslin’s fiscal system Arnaud Orain  8. History of public economics: the historical French school Serge-Christophe Kolm  9. Bold ideas. French liberal economists and the State: Say to Leroy-Beaulieu Gilbert Faccarello  10. Utility and justice: French liberal economists in the nineteenth century Nathalie Sigot  11. The foundations of justice in Jules Dupuit’s thought Philippe Poinsot  12. Gustave Fauveau’s contribution to fiscal theory Claire Silvant  13. Non-welfarism Avant la Lettre: Alfred Fouille´e’s political economy of justice Laurent Dobuzinskis  Part IV: Germany, Italy 14. Natural law as inspiration to Adolph Wagner’s theory of public intervention Daniele Corado and Stefano Solari  15. The idea of State in the Italian tradition of public finance
    Amedeo Fossati  16. Public expenditure in Italian public finance theory
    Domenicantonio Fausto  17. Common welfare versus the spirit of private enterprise: the experience of Italian municipalization from 1880 to 1930 Piero Bini and Daniela Parisi  Part V: Public Economics after World War II  18. The residual character of externalities Maurice Lagueux  19. The three roles of the ‘Coase theorem’ in Coase’s works Elodie Bertrand  20. Rawls’s justice theory and its relations to the concept of merit goods Ragip Ege and Herrade Igersheim  21. Get by with a little help from my friends: a recent history of charitable organisations in economic theory
    Alasdair Rutherford  22. Government and the provision of public goods: from equilibrium models to mechanism design Monique Florenzano  23. Public economics after neoliberalism: a theoretical–historical perspective Yahya M. Madra and Fikret Adaman


    Gilbert Faccarello is professor of economics at Panthéon-Assas University / Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France, and a co-founder and co-editor of The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought. He has published extensively on the history of political economy, especially on Ricardian, Neo-Ricardian and Marxian economics, and French economic thought (18th and 19th centuries).

    Richard Sturn is Director of the Institute of Public Economics at the University of Graz, Austria, and Deputy Chair of the Graz Schumpeter Centre. He has published widely on public goods, tax and transfer systems, economic philosophy and the history of economic thought.