Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society

Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society

by Robert J. Barro
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262522268

ISBN-13: 9780262522267

Pub. Date: 02/07/1997

Publisher: MIT Press

Since 1991, Robert Barro has been a lively contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other popular financial media. Getting It Right brings together,updates, and expands upon these writings that showcase Barro's agility in applying economic understanding to a wide array of social issues.Barro, a "conservative who takes no prisoners," and a self-described

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Overview

Since 1991, Robert Barro has been a lively contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other popular financial media. Getting It Right brings together,updates, and expands upon these writings that showcase Barro's agility in applying economic understanding to a wide array of social issues.Barro, a "conservative who takes no prisoners," and a self-described libertarian, believes that most governments have gone much too far in their spending, taxation, and regulation. The dominant theme in these wide-ranging essays is the importance of institutions that ensure property rights and free markets. The discussion deals especially with the appropriate range of government: which areas represent useful public policy and which are unnecessary interference.The first section of the book considers these questions in the context of the determinants of long-run economic growth. In addition to basic economics, Barro assesses related political topics, such as the role of public institutions, the optimal size of countries, and the consequences of default on foreign debt. The second section deals with the proper role and form of monetary policy. Barro argues that government should provide markets with a stable nominal framework and then stay out of the way to best allow for price stability.Writings in the third section cover fiscal and other macroeconomic policies. Topics include the distorting influences of taxation, especially taxes on capital income; infrastructure investment and other government spending; and the consequences of public debt and budget deficits. In a final section, Barro looks at more micro issues such as cartels, tax amnesties, school choice, privatization,cigarette-smoking regulation, endangered species regulation, the market for baseball players, and term limits for politicians.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262522267
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
02/07/1997
Series:
Inside Technology Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
207
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1Economic Growth1
Democracy and Growth1
Eastern Germany and the Iron Law of Convergence12
New and Old Theories of Economic Growth18
A Tale of Two Cities (Growth in Hong Kong and Singapore)22
The Optimal Size of a Nation, or the Attractions of Secession26
Europe's Road to Serfdom: A Perspective on European Union31
Default on Sovereign Debt35
Democracy and Growth in Peru27
2Monetary and Financial Policy45
Argentina and Mexico: Latin Lessons in Monetary Policy45
Monetary Policy: A Matter of Commitment52
Guilt and Glory at the Bank of England60
The Attractions of Price Stability65
3Fiscal and Other Macroeconomic Policies69
Economic Report Cards on U.S. Presidents and U.K. Prime Ministers69
Economic Advisers and Economic Outcomes84
How Important Are Budget Deficits?89
Indexed Bonds99
A Program for Macroeconomic Policy102
President Bush's Last Fiscal Proposals107
Infrastructure Investment and Other Public Spending110
Inequality114
Soaking the Rich118
Retroactivity and Other Capital Levies123
4The Power of Economic Reasoning127
The First Annual Contest for Best Monopoly in America127
This Tax Amnesty Will Work Only Once131
School Choice133
Privatization American Style138
Second-Hand Smoke143
How Much Is an Endangered Species Worth?149
Baseball Economics153
Term Limits157
George Stigler and the Chicago School164
A Nobel Prize for Bob Lucas168
Oh to Be in England172
References177
Index181

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