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The Economics of Public Spending
Debts, Deficits and Economic Performance
This book argues that in many jurisdictions free market advocates have resorted to public sector downsizing and privatization as a means of alleviating problems of unemployment and slow economic growth and that, as a consequence, the strategy of reducing public deficits, balancing budgets and achieving surpluses has become widely accepted as the only road to prosperity. The Economics of Public Spending shows in clear and simple terms that the strategy of public sector downsizing is based on a misleading conception of public finance. The book dispels several myths about public deficits and debts, offering alternative approaches to fiscal and monetary policies. The contributors argue convincingly and authoritatively that the public sector is crucial for economic growth, that budget deficits are required for improving the performance of the private sector and that there is a real need for an economic agenda based on public deficits and low stable real interest rates in order to achieve full employment with high wages, more generous social programmes and sustainable inflation.
This fascinating and challenging book will be of great interest to policymakers in government, academic researchers as well as public finance experts and economists.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'The book is a most welcome exception in the dominant literature on public spending. While the great majority of economists insist on the importance of sound finance (namely a balanced budget at any cost), Bougrine gives us at long last a book invoking a sound economy, in terms of employment, income distribution and basic welfare. A team of authoritative experts examines the problem from all sides and shows how the two targets can, and should, be reconciled.' -- Augusto Graziani, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Italy 'In theoretical expositions of rare reach and clarity, Hassan Bougrine and his colleagues restate the core propositions of Keynes and Kalecki for a new generation. This book is essential for serious students of macroeconomics, especially those perplexed by the incoherence of the new classical theories and the failures of neo-liberalism in practice.' -- James K. Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin and the Jerome Levy Economics Institute, US