Living with Leviathan: Public Spending, Taxes and Economic Performance


Housing and Planning

Peter King proposes radical reform of the system of support for housing costs and the abolition of social housing.

Lifestyle Economics

Professor Hugh High examines the evidence for the effectiveness of advertising bans in reducing consumption.

Economic Theory

A major study of the economic impact of the growth in UK government expenditure.
This monograph examines the growth of public spending in the UK. Using empirical evidence, evidence from theory, and the results of economic modelling, the author considers the wider economic consequences of the current high level of government spending. It is clear from the analysis that UK public spending is well above optimal levels. Furthermore, there is regional injustice, as large amounts of money are transferred from England to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – to the detriment of both donor and recipient.

How can such a situation prevail? Why are politicians not interested in one of the key determinants of economic welfare? Why is it impossible to tell the policies of the main parties apart on this issue? David B. Smith analyses these questions too and proposes changes that would make it more likely that Britain could have a smaller government sector.

2006, Hobart Papers 158, ISBN 978 0 255 36579 6, 187pp, PB

Further reading:

Sir Humphrey’s Legacy: Facing Up to the Cost of Public Sector Pensions by Neil Record.

How Should Britain’s Government Spending and Tax Burdens be Measured? by David B. Smith.

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