None of the classifications which have just been noted indicate to any degree the underlying motive in making expenditures. There has been nothing to indicate whether many or a few citizens have been the recipient of the funds spent, or whether individuals benefited have helped to bear the expense of the service. Obviously such a classification, while it could not be exact, would be of interest to students of fiscal problems. Professor Cohn has proposed a division of state activities which readily lends itself into a classification of expenditures on the basis of benefits conferred.1

Four groups of expenditure may be distinguished according to the degree in which individual benefit is the motive. By far the larger part of the state's expenditure, however, is not concerned primarily with individuals, but with the population in general. Hence the most important class of expenditures would be for the common benefit. The state also undertakes activities which directly aid particular classes, yet makes payment entirely from the common fund. This class might be termed expenditure for particular individuals, yet treated as a common benefit. Many state functions, moreover, are undertaken primarily for the common good, yet they also confer individual benefits for which the recipient is required to make payment. This might be termed the rendering of a common benefit, but at the same time a special benefit. It is conceivable, too, that the state might undertake activities which confer only special benefits, and this would make a fourth class of expenditure on the basis of benefits conferred.

1 Finanzwissenschaft, p. 117.