The public sector is the section of the economy that concerns itself with the provision of several government services. Public sector in most countries broadly included services like public education, public roads, military, police, healthcare, and those people who work for the government like the elected officials. However, the composition of the public sector may vary from one nation to another. The discipline of public economics focuses on the government and the influence of its policies on the economy. The discipline looks at how the government makes its choices and how they can hinder or improve economic efficiency. It concerns itself with the examination of the interface between public and private economic activities, and focusing on how economic policy and government policy in particular influence the entire economy.
Public economics also provides an explanation on how the visible hand of the government in a mixed economy that has both the private and public sectors that a vast majority of nations adopt influence the invisible hand that operates in the market. It includes diverse subjects like response to market failures because of the existing externalities, determination, creation, and implementation of optimal social and government security policies. The discipline also investigates how the government can influence wealth and income distribution and whether it is desirable. Public economics at its basic level offers a platform for thinking about the government should take part in economics markets or not and how far it should go in its role. Public economics inherently studies policy with a lot of emphasis on expenditure and taxation. The discipline strives to answer three questions which include:
It is critical to understand the intentions of decision makers for you to know how the government makes decisions. You need to understand how they choose them and how outside parties influence the same. You have to study the effects of the available alternative policies and assess the desired outcomes to determine the decisions that should be designed.
The diversity of the field of public economics range from the explanation of bureaucracy by the public choice and the traditional investigation of the impact of taxation. Traditionally, the primary concern of public sector economics was how governments can handle market failures for them to achieve efficient outcomes. Some of the practical remedies they consider include using taxation and public expenditure, allowing the state to own some firms and introducing regulation. All these areas fall under the microeconomic theory, practice and policy. To be specific, we need to put the political economy into consideration. It entails understanding how you can use the alternative economic theories to offer intellectual justification for ethical, moral, and ideological beliefs. These have been manifested through the provision of public services to contracting out, privatization to the private sector, making use of public-private partnerships and private finance initiatives.
a. Interest in enhancing economic welfare
b. Nearly all economic interventions take place via the government policy through two channels
c. The broad scope of policies makes stakes to be very large
d. Contentious debating on the ideal role of the government in the society
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