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Economic Category: Public Economics

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Public Economics - Article

1. Capital Gains Taxes

A capital gain or loss is the increase or decrease in the value of an asset price. This article explains capital gains in terms of taxes and discusses how it should be handled. [Details...]

2. Consumption Tax

This article tackles the debate over whether the United States should adopt a value-added tax similar to the ones that European countries have. It also examines the issue of whether to tax income or consumption. [Details...]

3. Corporate Taxation

The corporate income tax is the most poorly understood of all the major methods by which the United States government collects money. This article examines its history and the politically compelling arguments in favor of leaving the corporate income tax alone. [Details...]

4. Council of Economic Advisers

"The Council of Economic Advisers was established by the Employment Act of 1946 to provide the President with objective economic analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a wide range of domestic and international economic policy issues." This article examines the history, policies and evolving role and influence of the CEA. [Details...]

5. Defense

National defense is a public good. Once the government organizes the resources for national defense, it necessarily defends all residents against foreign aggressors. This article uses defense in describing the "free-rider" problem. [Details...]

6. Disaster and Recovery

Defeated in battle and ravaged by bombing in the course of World War II, Germany and Japan nevertheless made postwar recoveries that startled the world. Within ten years these nations were once again considerable economic powers. A decade later, each had not only regained prosperity but had also economically overtaken, in important respects, some of the war's victors. [Details...]

7. Economic Interests and the Adoption of the United States Constitution

This article examines how our Founding Fathers designed the Constitution, examining findings on the political and economic factors behind the provisions included in the Constitution and its ratification. The article discusses the views of Charles Beard and his critics and focuses on recent quantitative findings that explain the making of the Constitution. These findings suggest that personal interests of the Founding Fathers, as well as constituents' interests, played an important role in drafting the Constitution. They also suggest that economic and other interests played important roles at the ratifying conventions. [Details...]

8. Federal Budget

Since World War II the federal budget deficit has risen almost continually. This article explains the budget process and the commons problem with a historical outline of average budget deficits. [Details...]

9. Federal Debt

This article explains the various aspects of the federal debt including a table with figures from 1945-1990. [Details...]

10. Federal Deficit

The U.S. federal budget deficit is probably the world's most cited economic statistic. In recent years U.S. debt has risen at what is widely believed to be an alarming rate and has almost tripled since 1981. [Details...]

11. Fiscal Policy

Fiscal policy is the use of the government budget to affect an economy. When the government decides on the taxes it collects, the transfer payments it gives out, or the goods and services that ir purchases, it is engaging in fiscal policy. [Details...]

12. Government Spending

This article uses the charts of two countries, the United States and Sweden, to illustrate how government spending has grown quite rapidly in recent decades. [Details...]

13. Health Insurance in the United States

This article describes the development of the U.S. health insurance system and its growth in the twentieth century. It examines the roles of important factors including medical technology, hospitals and physicians, and government policy culminating in the development of Medicare and Medicaid. [Details...]

14. History of Property Taxes in the United States

The growth of the property tax in America was closely related to economic and political conditions on the frontier. This article describes how in pre-commercial agricultural areas the property tax was a feasible source of local government revenue and equal taxation of wealth was consistent with the prevailing equalitarian ideology. [Details...]

15. Ireland's Great Famine

This article describes the Great Irish Famine from 1846-1852 by explaining its causes, the direct effects of the famine, and the post-famine adjustment. [Details...]

16. Marginal Tax Rates

This article uses a table of maximum marginal tax rates on individual income in various countries to show how many countries significantly reduced their highest marginal tax rate by the end of the eighties decade. [Details...]

17. Money and Finance in the Confederate States of America

This article discusses money and finance in the Confederate States of America by focusing on revenue sources, inflation, and debt operations abroad. [Details...]

18. Money in the American Colonies

This article explores money in the American Colonies by examining the various means of payments as well as describing controveries of the time. [Details...]

19. Negative Income Tax

This article explains the history of the Negative Income Tax and the problems that arose when trying to decide on a policy to implement it. [Details...]

20. Price as a Rationer

Sometimes the government is unwilling to let markets adjust to market-clearing prices. They instead establish price ceilings or price floors. This article goes on to explain what each one is. [Details...]

21. Progressive Taxes

This article explains how the statutory tax rates misrepresent true progressivity, how progressive income taxes should be, and discusses the different types of taxes and changes that occur. [Details...]

22. Public Goods and Externalities

This article explains the aspects of public goods, the "free-rider" problem, and the problems of public goods. [Details...]

23. Public Sector Pensions in the United States

This article gives a brief introduction into the history of pensions then goes on to discuss early military pensions with a breakdown of Ancient Rome, Europe, and the United States. [Details...]

24. Reaganomics

This article describes Reaganomics as the most serious attempt to change the course of U.S. economic policy of any administration since the New Deal and tells us why. [Details...]

25. Social Security

This article discusses the history of social security, the estimates of future expenses, and the implications and impact that the baby boom generation will have on the future of social security. [Details...]

26. Taxation, A Preface

This article explains why, in recent years taxation has been one of the most prominent and controversial topics in economic policy. It does this by discussing objectives of taxation, the U.S. tax system, recent tax policy changes, distribution of the tax burden, and current tax issues. [Details...]

27. The Bus Industry in the United States

This article surveys the history of a branch of modern transportation that has been almost completely ignored -- the history of motorized buses. [Details...]

28. The Depression of 1893

This article describes economic developments in the decades leading up to the depression; the performance of the economy during the 1890's; domestic and international causes of depression; and political and social responses to the depression. [Details...]

29. The Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl was a coincidence of drought, severe wind erosion, and economic depression that occurred on the Southern and Central Great Plains during the 1930s. This article discusses rountine dust storms, how the 1930s were different, and the New Deal's response to the dilemma. [Details...]

30. The United States Public Debt, 1861 to 1975

This short study examines the public debt between the Civil War and the Budget Control Act, the period in which the foundations of our present public debt of over $7 trillion were laid. [Details...]

31. The Works Progress Administration

This article begins with the Great Depression and the New Deal, discusses WPA projects and procedures and the distribution of WPA funds. [Details...]

32. Turnpikes and Toll Roads in Nineteenth-Century America

This article describes how turnpikes demonstrated how nineteenth-century Americans integrate elements of modern corporation-with its emphasis on profit-taking residual claimants- with non-pecuniary motivations such as use and esteem. [Details...]

33. Urban Mass Transit In The United States

In the United States mass transit has, for the most part, meant some kind of local bus or rail service, and it is on these modes that this article focuses. [Details...]

34. Workers' Compensation

This article discusses the origins of worker's compensation and trends in worker's compensation over the past century. [Details...]

Public Economics - Interactive Tutorial

35. Credibility of Economic Policy

This Learning Module will introduce you to the issue of economic policy credibility. Using a simple formal model, you can see how differences in public beliefs can cause the same policy action to produce different outcomes. For an analytical framework to evaluate public beliefs, examine six concepts relating to the credibility of economic policy. For real world experience, there are case summaries for you to consider. [Details...]

36. Economic Policy Tools

Interactive tutorial on Economic Policy: To achieve the economic goals of low unemployment and stable prices, the Congress and the President can use two fiscal policy instruments, government spending and taxation to affect real GDP and the price level. In addition, the Federal Reserve can use three monetary policy instruments, open market operations and changes in the discount rate and required reserve ratio to change real GDP and the price level. [Details...]

37. National Budget Simulation

This simple simulation should give you a better feel of the trade-offs which policy makers need to make in creating federal budgets and dealing with deficits. This simulation asks you to adjust spending and tax expenditures in the the 2004 budget proposed by the White House in order to achieve either a balanced budget or any other target deficit. [Details...]

Public Economics - Web Site

38. Enterprise Restructuring in the former Soviet Union

Citizens of the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) have recognized the potential benefits, observed in many different cultures and societies around the world, of private, market-driven enterprises. For more than half a century enterprises in the FSU have been subject to comprehensive state ownership and central planning. Prices and financing were typically of little concern to enterprise management, while workers did not have to worry about job security and received a wide range of social benefits through enterprises. While moving toward private, market-driven enterprises offers great promise for an improved standard of living for the average person, such a transition represents a fundamental social, psychological, and economic challenge. [Details...]

39. Unemployment in Eastern and Central Europe

Unemployment, once unknown and illegal in the formerly communist regimes in eastern and central Europe, has become a significant social and economic phenomenon. The rise in unemployment rates has been large but varied across countries. The transition from centrally planned economies to market-oriented economies has produced significant reductions in employment in the state sector as consumer-driven incentives begin to influence industrial structure. Reductions in employment in the state sector were partially offset by reductions in labor force particpation. Differences in the decline in labor force participation among countries led to significant differences in the relationship between unemployment growth and contraction in employment. However, the decline in labor force participation seems to be concentrated in the early stages of the transition, and in the future declining labor force participation is not likely to play as significant a role in dampening the growth of unemployment. [Details...]

Public Economics - Experiment Software Configuration

40. ICV-Comp-56-Tax_ES-DA

This is a Marketlink configuration that imposes excise and sales taxes. [Details...]

41. ICV-Comp-56-Tax-DA

This is a Marketlink configuration that uses taxes. [Details...]

42. tax on buyers, perfect inelastic S

Part of the teaching module on taxation. [Details...]

43. tax on buyers, sym. S&D

Part of the teaching module on taxation. [Details...]

44. tax on sellers, perfect elastic S

Part of the teaching module on taxation. [Details...]

45. tax on sellers, perfect inelastic D

Part of the teaching module on taxation. [Details...]

46. tax on sellers, sym. S&D

Part of the teaching module on taxation. [Details...]

Public Economics - Non-computerized experiment

47. A Budget Balancing Game

Regular peace time budget deficits are a relatively recent phenomenon in the U.S. Crain and Muris attribute this not to an adoption of Keynesian counter-cyclical policies or any other ideological shift, but to a restructuring of the congressional budget process. They claim that the rise of the subcommittee system and limitations on the appropriations committee created a common-pool problem with the "general fund." Each subcommittee will overgraze the common fund, that is they will recommend increasing spending on projects overseen by their own committee and funded out of general revenues. At the same time they will hope that the other subcommittees will show restraint. A classroom game can easily show students both the common-pool model of budget deficits and illustrate why small items in your budget are relatively price-inelastic. [Details...]

48. Equity and Efficiency in a Game

The classroom exercise described below is a fun way to illustrate equity-efficiency tradeoffs, the frustration associated with relative inequality, and the interdependence of decisions among members and institutions in society. It was designed for a principles of microeconomics course of about twenty to thirty students. [Details...]

Public Economics - Course lecture

49. Analyzing Public Sector Economic Activity

Discussion on the demand for public goods, externalities, the Coase theorem, and democracy and economic effeciency. [Details...]

50. Budget Deficits

Budget Philosophies and social security. [Details...]

51. Distributing Income

Lorenz curves, poverty, and government aid. [Details...]

52. Stagflation and the Rise of Supply-Side Economics

Discussion on Phillips Curve, Reaganomics, Laffer Curve, and recent tax reforms. [Details...]

53. The Economics of Government Subsidies

Discussion on government subsidies. [Details...]

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