Public economics studies how government taxing and spending activities affect the economy -- economic efficiency and the distribution of income and wealth. This comprehensive text on public economics covers the core topics of market failure and taxation as well as recent developments in both policy and the academic literature. It is unique not only in its broad scope but in its balance between public finance and public choice and its combination of theory and relevant empirical evidence. The book covers the theory and methodology of public economics; presents a historical and theoretical overview of the public sector; and discusses such topics as departures from efficiency (including imperfect competition and asymmetric information), issues in political economy, equity, taxation, fiscal federalism, and tax competition among independent jurisdictions. Suggestions for further reading, from classic papers to recent research, appear in each chapter, as do exercises. The mathematics has been kept to a minimum without sacrificing intellectual rigor; the book remains analytical rather than discursive. This second edition has been thoroughly updated throughout.
It offers new chapters on behavioral economics, limits to redistribution, international taxation, cost-benefit analysis, and the economics of climate policy. Additional exercises have been added and many sections revised in response to advice from readers of the first edition.