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Public Debt

An Illusion of Democratic Political Economy Giuseppe Eusepi, Professor of Public Finance, Department of Law and Economics of Productive Activities, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy and Richard E. Wagner, Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economic, Department of Economics, George Mason University, US
Over the past decades, economists have witnessed with growing uneasiness their failure to explain the ballooning of public debt in most countries. This book provides an alternative orientation that explains why concepts of public debt that are relevant for authoritarian regimes are not relevant for democratic regimes. Using methodological individualism and micro-economics, this book overcomes flaws inherent in the standard macro approach, according to which governments manipulate public debt to promote systemic stability. This unique analysis is grounded in the writings of Antonio de Viti de Marco, injecting current analytical contributions and formulations into the framework to offer a forthright insight into public debt and political economy.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78643 803 4
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Austrian Economics
  • Economic History
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Public Finance
Over the past few decades, economists have witnessed with growing uneasiness their failure to explain the ballooning of public debt in most countries. Using methodological individualism and micro-economics, this book overcomes flaws inherent in the standard macro approach, according to which governments manipulate public debt to promote systemic stability. This unique analysis is grounded in the writings of Antonio de Viti de Marco, injecting current analytical contributions and formulations into the framework to offer a forthright insight into public debt and political economy.

Public Debt provides an alternative orientation that explains why concepts of public debt that are relevant for authoritarian regimes are not relevant for democratic regimes. It examines public debt in cooperative and monopolistic democracies as well as the corrupting quality of public debt in democracy. Including topics such as macro guidance within a Machiavellian approach, public debt as systemic lying and as a shell game, economy as an ecology vs. economy as an engine, individual vs. group action and cooperative state as ideal type, this book is a unique and refreshing approach to the material.

This comprehensive and cohesive sourcebook will serve as a critical resource for academics interested in public debt and political economy.
Contents: 1. Macroeconomics, fiscal policy, and public debt: conflating myth and reality 2. Political economy and the supply of macro guidance 3. Engines, ecologies, and economic systems 4. Budgeting and public debt within a system of cooperative democracy 5. Public debt within systems of monopolistic democracy 6. “Monstrous moral hybrids” and the corrupting quality of public debt Index