The Public Household: On "Fiscal Sociology and the Liberal Society
IN THE classical tradition of economics there are two realms of economic activity. There is the domestic household, including farms, whose products are not valued (a housewife is not paid; the produce consumed on the farm is not always measured in GNP) because they are not exchanged in the market. And there is the market economy, where the value of goods and services is measured by the relative prices registered in the exchange of money. But there is also now a third sector, more important than the other two, which has come to the fore in the last 25 years, and which will play an even more crucial role in the next 25. This is the public household.1 For reasons that I____________________
The idea of the public household is the organizing concept use by Richard A. Musgrave standard work, The Theory of Public Finance ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959).