Public Sector Economics for Developing Countries

Public Sector Economics for Developing Countries

Public Sector Economics for Developing Countries

Public Sector Economics for Developing Countries


Public Sector Economics discusses the impact of government revenues and expenditures on economic activity, with special reference to developing countries. Howard raises theoretical and empirical issues relating to the role of the public sector in economic development.

The book is comprehensive in scope: topics include public goods, market failure, the role of government, public choice and political business cycles, public expenditure growth, structural adjustment and taxation.

In addition, the book raises issues that are neglected in traditional texts on the public sector, such as poverty alleviation, tax administration and the operation of the VAT in developing countries. The text is written in a style that is accessible to policy makers, practising economists and students interested in the role of government and the political economy of decision making.


This book has been inspired by Richard Goode's Government Finance in Developing Countries. Since the publication of this work the fiscal systems of developing countries have changed significantly. Tax reform has altered the tax systems, placing emphasis on neutral taxes, especially the value-added tax (VAT). Further, these countries have undergone stabilization and structural adjustment programmes which focus on privatization and market liberalization. The text presents a discussion of the major concepts in public sector economics, with particular reference to developing countries.

Perhaps a more important reason for writing the book is that most public sector economics textbooks, written in highly industrialized economies, hardly mention the fiscal problems of developing countries. Fiscal analysis for developing countries can be found in the publications of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, literature surveys, monographs and edited books. The present work, while not neglecting the received theory which has evolved in highly industrialized economies, draws on the literature mentioned above. As a result, it is hoped that this book will provide a guide to aspects of the literature on fiscal issues in developing countries.

The book is intended for students in developing countries who are taking semester courses in Public Sector Economics, Public Finance, Fiscal Policy for Developing Countries and the Economics of Taxation. The work is also of value to students of Development Economics. But the text should also . . .

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