The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Peacock, Alan T. (1922–2014)

  • Martin Ricketts
Reference work entry


The central concern of Alan Peacock’s work was in public finance. He defended the traditions of classical liberal political economy against the claims of ‘The New Welfare Economics’ to represent the only theoretically rigorous approach to public policy. His contribution was not focused on either positive or normative economics, but on what John Neville Keynes (1891. The scope and method of political economy, 1st ed. London: Macmillan) called the ‘art of economics’ – the translation of normative principles into policy action given the constraints presented by practically feasible institutions governing both private and public choice. His policy interests were wide and ranged from the big questions of the size and scope of government to more specific issues such as the structure of the social security system, the finance of education, the public support of the arts generally and the finance of the BBC in particular.


Arts funding Bargaining with regulators BBC licence fee Bureaucracy Classical liberalism Devolution Displacement effect Education vouchers Growth of public expenditure Heritage Italian tradition in public finance Ordo-liberalism Public choice Rowley, C. Welfare economics Welfare state Wiseman, J. 

JEL Classifications

B12 D6 D72 D73 D78 H1 H2 H5 H7 I22 I28 I38 Z11 Z18 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Ricketts
    • 1
  1. 1.