Fiscal Policy: Fiscal Policy in a Developing Country

  • John H. Adler
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


The bibliographical note appended to the last chapter in W. A. Lewis’ The Theory of Economic Growth ends with the following sentence: ‘There is regrettably very little theoretical discussion of the fiscal problems of underdeveloped countries’.2 There is ample reason for this deficiency, which has not disappeared since Lewis’ book was first published. The fiscal system and the fiscal policy of any country reflect its citizens’ general economic views and aspirations, which it may have in common with other countries, or may be peculiar to it; but they also are the result of the country’s social and cultural institutions, its resource endowment, the structure of its economy, the distribution of income, and the seat of political power, in a configuration which is inevitably unique. Any general discussion of fiscal problems is thus bound to be of limited usefulness since just below the surface of the broadest generalizations lurks a multitude of specific exceptions to the general rules. Nevertheless, some principles of fiscal policy which are pertinent to low income countries endeavouring to advance economically at a faster pace than in the past may be derived from observation and speculation.


Fiscal Policy Public Expenditure Government Expenditure Money Supply Government Revenue 
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  1. 2.
    W. A. Lewis, The Theory of Economic Growth (London, Allen and Unwin, 1955), p. 419.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Cf. A. M. Martin and W. A. Lewis, ‘Patterns of Public Revenue and Expenditure’, in The Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies, vol. xxiv, September 1956, pp. 203–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  4. 2.
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  6. 2.
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    For a more extensive treatment of export taxes, cf. J. H. Adler, ‘The Economic Development of Nigeria : Comment’, in The Journal of Political Economy, vol. 44 (October 1956), pp. 425–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Cf. P. O. Steiner, ‘Choosing Among Alternative Public Investments’, in American Economic Review, vol. 49, No. 5 (December 1959), pp. 893–916.Google Scholar
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  15. 2.
    Cf. R. Nurkse, ‘Comments’ (on paper by P. N. Rosenstein-Rodan), presented to Round Table of the I.E.A., Rio de Janeiro, (Economic Development for Latin America (London : Macmillan 1961), pp. 74–8).Google Scholar
  16. J. H. Adler, ‘Deficit Spending and Supply Elasticities’, in Indian Journal of Economics, vol. 3, No. 144 (July 1955), pp. 17–18.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Adler
    • 1
  1. 1.International Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentUSA

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