A genealogy of the concept of merit wants

Détails

ID Serval
serval:BIB_FD4B7852733E
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Titre
A genealogy of the concept of merit wants
Périodique
The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought
Auteur(s)
Desmarais-Tremblay  Maxime
ISSN
0967-2567 (Print)
1469-5936 (Online)
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2017
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
24
Numéro
3
Pages
409-440
Langue
anglais
Résumé
This paper proposes a genealogy of the concept of merit wants coined by Richard A. Musgrave in his Theory of Public Finance (1959). The concept of merit wants can only be understood as a complement to the concept of public goods. I suggest that Musgrave invented the concept to apprehend some considerations that have been left out in the process of consolidation of the concept of public good. The narrow definition of the latter could not account for important state responsibilities that have been asserted by many economists.
I attempt to reconstruct Musgrave's intellectual background. First, I select examples of arguments for state intervention from authors influential in Musgrave's formative period (J.S. Mill, H. Sidgwick, E. Sax, H. Ritschl, G. Cassel, A. Wagner). Second, I argue that the invention of the concept in the 1950s reflected contemporary concerns for redistributive policies. I show that critics of the New Welfare approach (G. Colm, A. Hansen, W. Heller, H. Bowen) have held similar views, which were also in line with the liberal policy spirit of the post-war era in the United States.
Mots-clé
Merit wants, merit goods, Richard A. Musgrave, social wants, public goods
Création de la notice
29/06/2016 13:09
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 16:28
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