Book Review: Vito Tanzi, 2010. Government versus Markets: The Changing Economic Role of the State. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Vito Tanzi’s important, well-written and occasionally provocative new book provides an historic account of the development of the state in a worldwide perspective. Part I is an excellent essay on the role of the state, well worth reading in its own right, which draws together the book’s main arguments and conclusions. Part II describes the development of the role of government and public spending during the past century, and the factors that contributed to it. Part III outlines theories related to the role of the state in different settings and discusses the policy tools that have become more important in recent years. Part IV focuses on results, in terms of significant socio-economic indicators, that can be attributed to the growth of public spending in recent decades, with the main focus on advanced OECD countries. The concluding chapter reviews the issues that are likely to influence the future economic role of the state.
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