This work is written out of a conviction that development ecomics needs to draw more heavily and systematically on recent advances in kwledge made in public ecomics - especially where the formulation and analysis of development policy are concerned. The central questions - how to raise and spend revenues well, in the sense of promoting development - are surely rmative; but whether something is done well must also be judged in relation to what is actually feasible. With unrestricted lump-sum transfers ruled out in practice, the design of policy is inherently concerned with considerations of the second-best. This awkward fact besets the analysis of interventions in all areas of ecomic activity, from international trade to small-scale finance. Debates over whether and how to promote particular sectors or activities at the expense of others, when viewed from this perspective, draw attention away from the humdrum, but decidedly more important goal of raising revenue efficiently and with due regard for equity.
Clive Bell is Professor of Economics at Heidelberg University. Having obtained his D.Phil. from the University of Sussex in 1976, he has since held positions at the World Bank (1974-85), Johns Hopkins University (1985-6), Vanderbilt University (1986-95), and Regensburg University (1991-4).