Forty Years of Public Economics: A Personal Perspective
No 1994075, CORE Discussion Papers from Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)
This paper presents a personal perspective on the field of public economics, as I have seen it evolve over the past forty years. Starting in the early fifties, microeconomic theory invaded the age-old field of public finance. A central core of this work consists in deriving general qualitative formulae, within the general equilibrium model extended to encompass a public sector, public goods and taxation. That central development is flanked on one side by implementable solutions to practical problems (I refer in particular to public utility pricing, road pricing and auction design) , on the other side by the development of a rich abstract framework (I refer to equilibrium with increasing returns, state-contingent contracts, priority service contracts, ... ). The two flanks should come together, as they did in the early fifties when the theoretical developments grew out of practical applications. Yet, few economists succeed in creatively linking theory to real problems, and our professional organisation fails to promote adequately such contributions and their authors. Next to this emphasis on the interplay of theory and applications, I discuss briefly the success of public economics, its fragmentation into subfields and its relation to macroeconomics. The writing of this paper was prompted by my participation in editing a volume of selected papers by William Vickrey, on his 80th birthday. Frequent references are made to his work, which is exemplary of the perspective presented here.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 404 Not Found
Journal Article: Forty Years of Public Economics: A Personal Perspective (1995)
Working Paper: Forty years of public economics: a personal perspective (1995)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cor:louvco:1994075
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in CORE Discussion Papers from Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Alain GILLIS ().