January 1, 1996

Who Owes What, and To Whom?

Public Debt, Ricardian Equivalence, and Governmental Form
  • Richard Wagner

    Distinguished Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
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In this paper the author accepts the Ricardian argument that debt is just taxation by another name, both as an analytical point of departure and as a condition of satisfactory modeling. This study also explains why the theory of public debt must be applied differently in democratic political settings than in the authoritarian setting that provides the effective backdrop for most of the postwar literature.

Read the article at Mises.org.