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Alan Peacock poses the question of whether the history of economic thought is an essential part of the training of scholars concerned with the study of public finance. He contends that the perspective gained by studying the origins of public choice analysis can offer an important stimulus to scientific progress. His first lecture, The demand for historical perspective, traces the decrease in demand for historical perspective. His second lecture, Public choice and the analysis of public sector growth, criticizes those theories of growth in government expenditure that ignore the political process. In his third lecture, The economic consequences of public sector growth, he extends the conventional contemporary model of bureaucracy. A final lecture, The calculus of consent and limits on government expenditure growth, considers the work of Knut Wicksell and Amilcare Puviani when seeking to explain ways of limiting public sector growth.
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Is the history of economic thought an essential part of the training of public finance economists? Sir Alan Peacock argues that the perspective gained by studying the origins of public choice analysis can offer an important stimulus to scientific progress.About the Author:
Alan Peacock is Honorary University Fellow at the Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, and until recently was Editor of "Primary Science "journal for six years. He has worked in teaching, training and research in science education for over 40 years, in various regions of the UK and overseas. He has carried out primary science consultancy work for the British Council, UNESCO, the EU, The National Trust, various environmental groups and numerous NGOs in Africa, including in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Senegal and Mozambique. His publications include "Science Skills: A Problem-Solving Activities Book (Taylor & Francis); Science in Primary Schools: The Multicultural Dimension (Routledge); Opportunities for Science in the Primary School (Trentham); Teaching Primary Science (Macmillan Education) "and "Eco-literacy for Primary Schools (Trentham). "He has also written and edited the "Sayansi "(Science) series of pupils science texts for Tanzanian schools, and recently chaired the UNESCO working group on "Guidelines for enhancing quality education through textbooks . "
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