Public Sector Economics and Politics.

by Jack Stockfisch

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Review of Richard E. Wagner's The Public Economy, prepared for the Journal of Business. This book employs the idea, advocated in 1896 by the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell, that a unanimity constitutional rule (or near unanimity rule) be employed to govern legislative fiscal action and related decisionmaking. Such a rule contrasts importantly with that of a "simple majority," which prevails for most present-day democratic governments. Wagner advances Wicksell's approach as a basis upon which to develop a positive theory of fiscal behavior. The review discusses some of the pros and cons of this approach. 4 pp. (Author)

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