Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Dirk J. Wolfson. Public Finance and development Strategy. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1979. Pp. xiv+264.

The world in its politico-economic aspects is run by policy-makers who have an academic background in law or public administration or other related social disciplines including economics. Only rarely would a majority of the policy-makers be trained in economics. In the making of economic policy, the basic choices before the policy-makers are political and they transcend the narrow concerns of economists regarding optimal use of resources. These considerations in no way downgrade the relevance of economic analysis in economic policy-making and for the training of policy-maker in economics. Policy-makers need economic council to understand fully the implications of alternative policy options. In this book, Wolfson attempts to educate policy-makers in the areas of public finance and development strategy. The analysis avoids technicalities and is kept to a simple level to make it understandable to civil servants, law-makers and members of the executive branch whom Wolfson refers to as policy-makers. Simplicity of analysis is not the only distinguishing mark of this book. Most other books on public finance are usually addressed to traditional public finance issues relating to both the revenue and expenditure sides of the budget and neglect an overall mix of issues dealing with the interaction of fiscal policy with economic development. Wolfson in this book explicitly deals with these issues.

Zafar Mahmood.

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