Professor Bradford introduced the Atkinson paper, noting that it is a first attempt to analyse government public-service expenditure policy within a general equilibrium framework, subject to constraints on the available policy instruments. Such analysis requires a judicious mixing of sophisticated mathematical modelling with a clear understanding of the policy issues and institutional restrictions facing real governments. Professor Bradford praised Professor Atkinson’s efforts at blending sound economic theory with institutional fact in his analysis of public housing policy, but felt that two extensions of the analysis would be in order. First, as the Atkinson analysis now stands, there is nothing to distinguish housing services from any other commodity. But the politics of government housing policy suggest that the commodity is, indeed, a ‘special’ or ‘merit want’ commodity. This should not lead to major revisions of the analytical structure of the problem, but the policy conclusions of analysis may be significantly altered in the direction of a housing subsidy. Second, Professor Bradford thought that it would be desirable to build into the analysis the fact that housing subsidies support expenditures on a vector of ‘housing services’ involving not only living space (which we may wish to subsidise), but also locational amenities such as clear air and beautiful views (which we may not want to subsidise). To treat housing as a simple commodity that is uniform from place to place and person to person may lead to very misleading policy conclusions.
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
- Report on the Proceedings
Robert P. Inman
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Part VIII