Master's Theses


Economics, Finance, & Accounting

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to analyze existing literature concerning the burden of the public debt in order that some conclusions might be drawn which would tend to confirm or deny the existence of a burden associated with the public debt. Procedures used: four different schools of thought were analyzed in an attempt to answer the above question. They were: The mercantile school of thought; the classical school; the new orthodoxy; and the neo-classical school of thought. Recent discussion appearing in economic journals was also analyzed. Summary and Conclusions: generally speaking, the mercantilists and the new orthodoxy’s conclusion was that the public debt, internally held, was not a burden. On the other hand, the classicists and the adherents to the neo-classical doctrine held that the public debt was a burden. It was concluded that the reason competent economists over the past three hundred years have been unable to reach a consensus about the burden of the public debt is that they have been talking about two different things. Although it may not be generally conceded that this is the basic problem, several economists are beginning to accept this conclusion. Once economists are able to build a model that is accepted by all, and once they are able to use terms to which everyone agrees, it is felt that the problem may be solved through the use of existing economic theory.


David Loy

Date of Award

Spring 1964

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1964 Michael Ward Butler


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