A workshop was held on issues concerning the role of the public sector in the mixed economy in order to address issues which have come to prominence both within the profession and in the public domain. These include the process of privatization, regulation and deregulation, the best ways of organizing delivery of collectively consumed goods and services, such as broadcasting, telecommunications, education and roads, and issues to do with taxation and incentives, but in an international context such as the European Community (EC).
With respect to the economics of collectively consumed goods and services, 11 papers were presented half dealing with congestible (club) goods and publicly provided private goods, the rest with public goods. In both cases, attention was given to the right institutional setting for providing such goods: would the market mechanism, publicly assisted or otherwise, 'deliver the goods'? An intrahousehold perspective on collectively consumed goods was also presented.
'Privatisation and regulation' provided the workshop's central focus. Studies ranged from the empirical assessment of the United Kingdom gas industry's record under regulation and of European insurance markets, to highly theoretical modelling of the operation of price cap regulation. Privatization and regulation were also discussed providing an insight and overview on public finance in economics in transition. Presentations were given Russian and Yugoslavian economists (the former of whom is very close to the new economic intellectual elite in the Russian Republic) on the confrontation of economic theory with political and institutional realities.
Under the heading 'Taxation and incentives, especially in an international context' presentations included 'Free international trade and taxation', 'Border controls and tax competition in a customs union' and 'Squeezing tax payers: a regional game'.