The Political Economy of Public Debt: Three Centuries of Theory and Evidence

Richard M. Salsman

How have the most influential political economists of the past three centuries theorized about sovereign borrowing and shaped its now widespread use? That important question receives a comprehensive answer in this original work, featuring careful textual analysis and illuminating exhibits of public debt empirics since 1700. Beyond its value as a definitive, authoritative history of thought on public debt, this book rehabilitates and reintroduces a realist perspective into a contemporary debate now heavily dominated by pessimists and optimists alike.