Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Musgrave, Richard A. (Richard Abel), 1910-2007
Richard A. Musgrave Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1874-2008 (mostly 1999-2006)
8 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-8


Richard Abel Musgrave (1910-2007) was a leading 20th-century economist whose work transformed the field of public finance. Consists of the professional files of Richard A. Musgrave.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of the professional files of Richard A. Musgrave. The material documents Musgrave's career as an economist and professor, and includes publications and presentations, drafts, discussion papers, conference materials, reports, editorial and teaching materials, email correspondence and written correspondence, and awards received.

Collection Creator Biography:

Musgrave, Richard A. (Richard Abel), 1910-2007

Richard Abel Musgrave (1910-2007) was a leading 20th-century economist whose work transformed the field of public finance. He was considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize. Musgrave's seminal work, The Theory of Public Finance(1959), theorized the economic role of government in partnership with the private sector in democratic societies. Musgrave conceptualized the public sector budget as having three branches concerned with the allocation of resources, the distribution of income, and stabilization of the economy. Musgrave also introduced the new concept of "merit wants." His work further revolutionized public finance by applying microeconomic analysis, Keynesian macroeconomics and consideration of equity to theories of taxation. Renowned for its accessible style, the book is still considered a major theoretical work in the field of public finance. The Musgraves' co-authored 1973 work Public Finance in Theory and Practicealso remains an important textbook. Musgrave served as an advisor on tax reform to a number of governments, including postwar Germany, Colombia, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Taiwan. In addition, he served as editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics and was founder and President of the International Seminar in Public Economics. He was a Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science, and was a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association and the National Tax Association as well as Honorary President of the International Institute of Public Finance. He was awarded the Frank E. Seidman Award in Political Economy in 1981.

Collection History


Gift of Peggy B. Musgrave in October 2008 [ML.2008.026]. Additional accessions came in 2009 and 2012 [ML.2009.018 and ML.2012.006]


No information about appraisal is available is available for this collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Regine Heberlein on July 29, 2010. Materials were re-housed in archival boxes and a series-level description was created at this time. Materials from the March 2012 accession were added to the collection and the finding aid was updated by Maureen Callahan on April 16,2013. Materials from the March 2012 accession were moved into archival folders at this time.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Richard A. Musgrave Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-8