At the center of our country's political life are some basic economic questions: How does the government affect the economy? What should the government do? Why are some economic activities undertaken in the public sector and others in the private? Shouldgovernment do more than it is currently doing, or less? Should it change what it is doing, and how it is doing it? To answer these questions, we must begin by understanding what the government does today. How had the government grown over the past fifty years? How do the size and scope of government in the United States compare with government's size and scope in other countries? This new edition of the acclaimed textbook by leading economic Joseph W. Stiglitz is the definitive text for studying public sector economics.