The development by Paul Samuelson ( 1954, 1955) of the modern theory of public goods must be counted as one of the major breakthroughs in the theory of public finance. In these two very short papers Samuelson posed and partly solved the central problems in the normative theory of public expenditure: (1)How can one define analytically goods that are consumed collectively, that is for which there is no meaningful distinction between individual and total consumption?(2)How can one characterize an optimal allocation of resources to the production of such goods?(3)What can be said about the design of an efficient and just tax system which will finance the expenditures of the public sector?
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- Public Goods
- Palgrave Macmillan UK