The advances in the economics of the public sector during the past quarter century have been as pronounced as in any ﬁeld within economics. Public ﬁnance has become a rigorous branch of applied microeconomics, incorporating the best thinking and most advanced tools of both theoretical economics and econometrics. In the remarks below, I will focus on a few key areas in applied and theoretical tax and expenditure policy, drawing both upon the academic work of myself and others, and my experiences in the policy arena, both as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and as Chief Economist of the World Bank. I shall address both the questions of what we have learned in the past few decades as well as the questions where further research is needed.
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