Introductory note and acknowledgements
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KeywordsEconomic Theory Political Economy Public Finance Productive Activity Public Choice
These papers were first presented at a conference on “New Perspectives on Public Debt,” held at the Sapienza University of Rome on 26–28 September 2011. Revised versions of the papers were presented at the World Congress of the Public Choice Society held on 8–11 March 2012 in Miami. While public debt is commonly thought to pertain to public finance or macroeconomics, these papers bring in various ways a constitutional perspective to bear on public debt, thus making them suitable for presentation in Constitutional Political Economy. Each of the papers emphasize, in their individual ways, exchange as a generalized paradigm of the relationships among all the agents interacting within both market and state. We think that this common conceptual approach provides a baseline for bringing aspects of public debt into the domain of constitutional political economy. What is most distinctive about this approach is that the authors provide analyses that look beneath the surface of public debt, thereby providing new perspectives on public debt.
The conference in Rome was organized through the European Center for the Study of Public Choice (ECSPC) as part of its continuing scholarly program. We are particularly grateful to Citi, Studio Laghi and Sapienza University of Rome for generously funding the conference. The Department of Law and Economics of Productive Activities truly deserves our thanks for co-organizing and hosting the event.