The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 93–104 | Cite as

What kind of state in our future? Fact and Conjecture in Vito Tanzi’s Government versus Markets

  • Richard E. Wagner


This is a review essay on Vito Tanzi’s Government versus Markets: The Changing Economic Role of the State. The bulk of this book looks backward on the relative growth of government from late in the 19th century until recent times when that growth seems to have stopped in many places. Tanzi also looks forward in speculating on possible qualitative changes in the character of state activity through substitution of regulation for taxation. Much wisdom is presented in these pages, and yet the book contains some significant conceptual shortcomings and lacunae due to its apparent embrace of the possibility of measurement without theory. All the same, the book poses significant challenges for scholarship in political economy and public economics.


Growth of government Adolf Wagner Wagner’s Law Regulation as taxation States as orders Measurement without theory 
JEL Codes H11 K20 L38 N40 P16 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, 3G4George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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