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Public economics after the idea of justice

Atkinson, Anthony B. (2012) Public economics after the idea of justice. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 13 (4). pp. 521-536. ISSN 1945-2829

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Identification Number: 10.1080/19452829.2012.703171


In this first lecture in honour of Amartya Sen, I examine the lessons that can be drawn from The Idea of Justice for public economics and the extent to which public economics has already moved in the direction advocated by Sen. More specifically, I focus on the current fiscal austerity programmes, and how the tools of public economics can be used to contribute to public reasoning about such programmes. I argue that they can help us think about the balance between cutting spending and raising taxes, and about the key role of public investment. But the Sen critique of welfare economics mean that we have to re-think public economics. The subject has been slow to absorb new ideas for the evaluative basis, and public economics, while extending its positive analysis to allow for international interactions, has failed to develop a normative approach to global justice.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author
Divisions: Statistics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H0 - General > H00 - General
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2012 08:43
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 04:39

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