### 经济代写|微观经济学代写Microeconomics代考|The Microeconomics Anti-Textbook

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• Statistical Inference 统计推断
• Statistical Computing 统计计算
• (Generalized) Linear Models 广义线性模型
• Statistical Machine Learning 统计机器学习
• Longitudinal Data Analysis 纵向数据分析
• Foundations of Data Science 数据科学基础

## 经济代写|微观经济学代写Microeconomics代考|Public Choice and the unsubtle bias against taxation, government spending and income redistribution

Unlike the basic description of the roles of government set out at the beginning of the Standard Text, the treatment of public choice varies across the texts. In our sample, a couple barely mention it, while most set out some of its central concepts in varying detail. Our Standard Text collects these to give a complete sketch. ${ }^{15}$

Public choice as an ideological project The unflattering picture of the public sector that emerges from public choice theory is no accident. British economist Charles Rowley, a prominent supporter of the approach, described the result of one of the first books on the subject, co-authored by James Buchanan: ‘The scene was set for a program of scientific endeavour that exposed government failure coupled to a program of moral philosophy that supported constitutional reform designed to limit government, even to the role of the nightwatchman state’ (our emphasis). ${ }^{16}$ A nightwatchman state is the libertarian capitalist ideal: a minimal state that does nothing more than operate a military for defence, police to deal with theft and violence, and a judicial system to enforce contracts and prevent fraud. ${ }^{17}$ The ‘constitutional reform’ Rowley refers to would strip governments of the ability to provide social insurance (healthcare, public education, unemployment insurance, pensions, childcare, assistance to the destitute and so on), to redistribute income in other ways, to regulate business and to address market failures. The result would be ‘democracy in chains’ – the title of American historian Nancy MacLean’s book about James Buchanan, with the subtitle ‘the radical right’s stealth plan for America’. Big business, owned or controlled largely by the wealthy, would be left the dominant force in society.

This extremist agenda has a powerful cult following, notably among right-wing billionaires, libertarian capitalist ‘think tanks’ and likeminded academics, but almost no popular support, hence the need for stealth in advancing their cause. Rowley was effectively saying that public choice theory was designed from the beginning to undermine support for collective action through government. In considering Buchanan’s economics, American economist Gary Mongiovi concluded that his work “is a modern manifestation of what [Karl] Marx called “vulgar economy”, that is, ruling-class ideology posing as science. ${ }^{18}$ Ironically, Buchanan himself was not shy about publicly accusing other economists of being ‘advocates for ideological interests’ – in this case, David Card and Alan Krueger, whose empirical findings about the minimum wage had no place in his ideology. ${ }^{19}$

Compare the textbook picture of the cost-efficient profit maximizing firm with the public choice story of cost-inefficient monopolistic government bureaucracies presided over by self-interested politicians with no interest in the public good. Compare the story of efficient markets, where market failures are the exception rather than the rule, with the story of inevitable government failure as policies are determined either by ignorant voters or by the power struggles of special interest groups. Even if there are real problems with market outcomes, the government cure is portrayed as worse than the disease. If a student accepts public choice theory uncritically – and no text that describes public choice ideas in some detail offers any critique – then reducing the size of the state by cutting taxes and spending, privatizing public services and so on starts to look attractive.

## 经济代写|微观经济学代写Microeconomics代考|The subtle bias against taxation, government spending and income redistribution

In a study of the rhetoric of the textbooks, American economist David George points out that given the order of topics in the texts, government ‘tends to be treated as an entity emerging only after the private sector has established itself.’ ${ }^{\prime} 9$ The government then “interferes’ with markets for private goods through taxes and regulation.

With taxes, the texts focus attention on how the ‘burden’ will be shared and on technical explanations of the efficiency cost of taxes. (Ironically, the goods usually chosen to illustrate the ‘efficiency loss’ of excise taxes are goods, such as fuel, cigarettes and alcohol, that have negative externalities. Hence, as discussed in Chapter 7 , there may be efficiency gains, not losses!)4 The benefits from increased government spending that taxes make possible are made much less clear. In a book already weighted towards the importance of attaining efficiency in the use of scarce resources, what choice is the reader invited to make when it comes to the equity-efficiency trade-off?

The emphasis on the inefficiency of taxes reinforces the examples given in the texts in the supply and demand applications (reviewed in Chapter 3 ). They are typically ones in which the government appears to mess things up: minimum wages increase unemployment, rent controls create apartment shortages, subsidies create inefficiencies and taxes create efficiency losses. Warnings about ‘government failures’ (particularly if public choice theory is emphasized) further reinforce this. All this might have been what former US president Ronald Reagan was referring to when he said: ‘The nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” ” $4^{41}$

Marginalizing economic inequality For much of the $20^{\text {th }}$ century, the subject of income inequality was marginalized and ignored, according to the English economist Anthony Atkinson who spent much of his professional life studying the subject. Not surprisingly, he ‘believed that it should be central to the study of economics’, yet (as he wrote) ‘a glance at today’s bestselling textbooks shows that the structure has remained much the same as in the past, with discussion of inequality kept separate from the central chapters’.42 (It’s in the same relative location as we have placed this chapter given that this book parallels the structure of the typical text.) We suspect that many economics courses never quite manage to get to the topic.

## 经济代写|微观经济学代写Microeconomics代考|The pervasive costs of inequality

We’ve seen earlier, particularly in Chapter 4, evidence of the importance of relative position for individuals’ feelings of well-being. But the focus of textbook economics is on the individual removed from social context. As a result, it largely ignores the question of individuals’ relative position in society except for admitting its existence briefly if it defines poverty in relative terms. Yet a fundamental feature of human (and many other primate) societies is their social hierarchy and the awareness everyone has of their place in it.
The socialgradient of health Within even wealthy countries, life expectancies differ systematically and significantly between different groups of people. People’s income, their occupation and the social status attached to it, the degree of economic security and control over work and home life, and their social connectedness (all of which are interrelated) are all important determinants of individual health. Lower levels of these result in increased chances of poor mental and physical health and premature death. This is called the social gradient of health: average health and life expectancy

decline systematically the lower people are in the social hierarchy, often falling more rapidly at the lowest socioeconomic levels.

The English epidemiologist Michael Marmot, one of the foremost researchers in this area, explains that ‘these social inequalities in health … are not a footnote to the “real” causes of ill-health in countries that are no longer poor; they are the heart of the matter’. ${ }^{{ }^{\prime}}$ The idea of socio-economic inequality as a primary determinant of ill-health may seem surprising. Most public discussion of health policy centres on how well the healthcare system works, and issues of public health regulations (e.g. food and water quality) and individual behaviour, such as smoking, alcohol consumption or exercise. Yet there is ample evidence showing that the effects of socioeconomic inequality are deadly.

For example, the gap in life expectancy between those at the top and those at the bottom in affluent countries can be very large, even though it is largely preventable. There are zo year differences in life expectancy between people at the top and people at the bottom of the income distribution in cities like Glasgow, London, Baltimore, and Washington DC. ${ }^{81}$ The health of everyone in between is also affected by their socio-economic position.
Figure $9.5$ gives one example, showing life expectancy for men in England according to the characteristics of the neighbourhoods in which they live. An index of multiple deprivation was calculated for each of almost 33,000 neighbourhoods. It combines measures of low income, lack of access to

employment, education and skill levels, and crime rates, among other things. ${ }^{82}$ The gap in life expectancy between men in the most deprived areas and those in the least deprived is $9.4$ years. The key point of the social gradient is that everyone is affected, not just those at the very bottom and at the very top. For women, the story is the same although the gap $-7.4$ years – is somewhat smaller.

Figure $9.5$ also shows estimates of ‘disability-free life expectancy’ – the amount of time people can expect to remain free of conditions that would restrict their day-to-day activities. For both men and women, the social gradient here is even steeper than that for life expectancy.

In their book for the World Health Organization, The Social Determinants of Health: The solid facts, Richard Wilkinson and Michael Marmot explain the psychosocial factors affecting physical health.

## 经济代写|微观经济学代写Microeconomics代考|The pervasive costs of inequality

Richard Wilkinson 和 Michael Marmot 在他们为世界卫生组织撰写的著作《健康的社会决定因素：确凿的事实》中解释了影响身体健康的社会心理因素。

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