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 After a tribute to Sir Alan Peacock and the first publication of two hitherto unpublished papers written in the 1950s, the chapters focus on important developments that occurred in Europe during the 19th and early 20th centuries.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 1: 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 Two Unpublished Papers from the 1950s Alan Peacock and Jack Wiseman Part 2: England 4.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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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