Readings in Fiscal Policy

Readings in Fiscal Policy

Readings in Fiscal Policy

Readings in Fiscal Policy


Fiscal policy as the term has been used over the past twenty years is a branch of economics that partially overlaps the fields of public finance, money and banking, and business cycles. Its central concern is with the aggregative effects of government expenditures and taxation on income production and employment. The present compilation adheres in the main to this delimitation of fiscal policy but attempts also to show the relation that should be recognized between fiscal policy so conceived and other closely related policies.

The American Economic Association has already sponsored readings on monetary theory and business cycles. Those volumes will help the student to cross the arbitrary boundaries of the present volume in two important directions. But there is still room for an additional volume that deals with the traditional subject of public finance.

As with other volumes in the series, the editors have been mainly concerned with the need to make periodical and pamphlet literature available to students. Consequently, some pioneering articles, such as R. F. Kahn's classic article on the multiplier, which are readily available in other collections of readings have been omitted from the current volume. On the other hand, a volume on fiscal policy could hardly be considered complete without representation of the works of Keynes, Schumpeter, and Hansen. But to achieve adequate representation, it was necessary in each case to depart from the usual practice and include extracts from books rather than articles.

The volume attempts not only to cover the field of fiscal policy but to show how doctrine on the subject has evolved over the past generation. To facilitate the attainment of this dual objective, several authors have kindly consented to the republication of articles written some time ago, even though their views may have been refined and modified in the meantime.

The editors are indebted to experts in the field for their suggestions and particularly to Wilbur A. Steger of the Harvard Department of Economics for invaluable spadework in the selection process.


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