A Look Back at Paul Samuelson’s Seminal Contribution to Public Economics

December 13, 2009

Nobel laureate and well-known American economist Paul Samuelson passed away earlier today (Sunday, December 13, 2009).

While Samuelson made many contributions to various areas of economics, one of his most well-known contributions was in the field of public economics. Samuelson’s The Theory of Public Expenditure is essentially the framework for public economics. That is, the general role for a welfare-maximizing government is the optimal provision of goods that are underprovided by the private sector (i.e. public goods).

This influential yet short piece (only 3 pages) is available here. Note that some of what is in this piece by Samuelson is derived from his magnum opus, Foundations of Economic Analysis.

Was this page helpful to you?

No

Thank you!

The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?

Contribute to the Tax Foundation

Topics


Related Articles