Vito Tanzi offers a truly comprehensive treatment of the economic role of the state in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a historical and world perspective. The book addresses the fundamental question of what governments should do, or have attempted to do, in economic activities in past and recent periods.
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'Vito Tanzi is one of the very top leading experts on fiscal policy and public policy, and this a must-read for anyone interested in how governments work in reality and how they should work in an ideal world.' Alberto Alesina, Harvard University
'This highly accessible book is the summa of Vito Tanzi's unique experience as an academic, senior international official, and policy maker. Everyone will find this book informative and thought-provoking. As an EU policy maker and public finance practitioner, I found it highly challenging and very useful.' Marco Buti, European Commission
'Economists have a one-sided impression of Vito Tanzi: a rigorous fiscal economist, a sophisticated analyst. Now from the book we enjoy the other side of his character: a witty man with a warm sense of humor, an open-eyed observer, and a well-articulated writer.' János Kornai, Harvard University and Collegium Budapest, Hungary
'Any scholar interested in public economics and in the study of the role of government and any policy maker concerned with public policies will learn a great deal from this excellent book.' Paola Profeta, Bocconi University
'An outstanding analysis and a modern vision by a distinguished scholar about the new role of government in the present economic situation. It shows how markets may be made to work efficiently, avoiding financial and economic crisis, while providing economic recovery and stable economic growth.' Franco Reviglio, University of Turin
'In this book, Vito Tanzi marshals his vast reservoir of experience in fiscal matters and deep familiarity with modern economic thinking to produce a magisterial treatment of the economic role of the state - past, present, and future. It is packed with insights that will reward both the casual student of public policy and the wizened veteran of the academic and political battles over tax and expenditure policy. Be prepared for conclusions that will startle, such as Tanzi's view that the growing complexity of state interventions may be the gravest threat to the market economy and democracy.' Joel Slemrod, University of Michigan
'The beauty of this volume is that you can learn a great deal from sampling almost any handful of pages. And there are few, if any, equations … Mr Tanzi is known as a fiscal hawk. That means he is a critic both of high government spending and of deficit finance. But in this book he is scrupulously fair in describing other points of view.' Financial Times
'A welcome and much-needed contribution to [an] emerging debate.' CentralBanking.com
'… a masterpiece …' Financial World
Vito Tanzi offers a truly comprehensive treatment of the economic role of the state in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a historical and world perspective. The book addresses the fundamental question of what governments should do, or have attempted to do, in economic activities in past and recent periods. It also speculates on what they are likely or may be forced to do in future years. The investigation assembles a large set of statistical information that should prove useful to policy-makers and scholars in the perennial discussion of government's optimal economic roles. It will become an essential reference work on the analytical borders between the market and the state, and on what a reasonable 'exit strategy' from the current fiscal crises should be.
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