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IEA Yearbook of Government Performance 2002/2003

By: Peter Warburton
June 2002
Institute of Economic Affairs
ISBN: 0-255-36532-2
275 pages, 5 x 8"
$37.50 paper original

Big government may be coming back into fashion. Public spending in Britain -- especially on services such as health, education and transport -- is on the increase. But how likely is it that more spending will result in better services? In this new Yearbook, Peter Warburton assembles evidence from Britain and from around the world to examine how taxation and government spending have been changing and to assess the effectiveness of government activity. He investigates the scale and scope of government, over time and in comparison with other countries, and sets out indicators of government performance, considering not only macroeconomic questions but issues now at the centre of political discussion such as health and education services and crime reduction. Six essays by leading commentators provide more detailed discussions of measuring the public sector, greater choice in health, the poverty trap, private education, imprisonment and child care and adoption. Dr Warburton's concludes that 'If there is a simple message to be gleaned from all the evidence, it is that an increase in public sector resources is no substitute for excellence in resource allocation.'