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Choice and Economic Welfare

Edited by Viktor J. Vanberg, Professor Emeritus, The University of Freiburg and Member of the Board, Walter Eucken Institut, Freiburg, Germany
This important collection brings together the most prominent literature in the field of choice and economic welfare. The volume incorporates material exploring how economics as a scientific enterprise may inform political decision-making. A premise explored paradigmatically through different interpretations including utility-individualism in the context of welfare economics, preference-individualism in social choice theory, and choice-individualism in constitutional economics. The volume includes an array of the subjects founding literature as well as contemporary pieces, which have sparked further discussion in the field. Brought together by an original introduction by the editor, this one-volume collection promises to be a valuable tool for researchers and scholars, as well as a fascinating read to those gravitating towards this fascinating topic.
Extent: 864 pp
Hardback Price: $520.00 Web: $468.00
Publication Date: June 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78643 232 2
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Welfare Economics
This important collection brings together the most prominent literature in the field of choice and economic welfare. The volume incorporates material exploring how economics as a scientific enterprise may inform political decision-making. A premise explored paradigmatically through different interpretations including utility-individualism in the context of welfare economics, preference-individualism in social choice theory, and choice-individualism in constitutional economics. The volume includes an array of the subjects founding literature as well as contemporary pieces, which have sparked further discussion in the field. Brought together by an original introduction by the editor, this one-volume collection promises to be a valuable tool for researchers and scholars, as well as a fascinating read to those gravitating towards this fascinating topic.
41 articles, dating from 1789 to 2017
Contributors include: K.J. Arrow, J.M. Buchanan, J.C. Harsanyi, F.A. Hayek, I.M.D. Little, J. Rawls, P.A. Samuelson, A. Sen, R. Sugden, K. Suzumura
Contents:

Acknowledgements

Introduction Individual Choice and Social Welfare: Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy
Viktor J. Vanberg

PART I ECONOMICS AND POLITICS: THE ROLE OF VALUE JUDGMENTS
1. Léon Walras (1984), ‘Definitions of Political Economy’ and ‘Science, Art and Ethics Distinguished’, in Elements of Pure Economics: Or the Theory of Social Wealth, Lesson 1 and 2, Philadelphia, PA, USA: Orion Editions, 51–7, 58–64

2. Gunnar Myrdal (1953), ‘Politics and Political Economy’, in The Political Element in the Development of Economic Theory, trans. by Paul Streeten, Chapter 1, London, UK: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1–22, references

3. Lionel Robbins (1932), ‘The Significance of Economic Science’, in An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science, Chapter VI, London, UK: Macmillan, 120–41

PART II WELFARE ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL CHOICE: FROM INDIVIDUAL UTILITIES TO SOCIAL WELFARE
A. Welfare Economics: From Individual Utilities to Social Welfare

4. Jeremy Bentham ([1789] 1982), ‘On the Principle of Utility’ and ‘Value of a Lot of Pleasure or Pain, How to be Measured’, in An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Chapter 1 and Chapter 5, London, UK and New York, NY, USA: Methuen, 11–16, 38–41

5. John R. Hicks (1939), ‘The Foundations of Welfare Economics’, Economic Journal, 49 (196), December, 696–712

6. Paul A. Samuelson (1947), ‘Welfare Economics’, in Foundations of Economic Analysis, Chapter 8, Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, 203–28

7. Tibor Scitovsky (1951), ‘The State of Welfare Economies’, American Economic Review, 41 (3), June, 303–15

8. Rutledge Vining (1956), ‘Questions Regarding Validity of Certain Concepts of Welfare Economics’, in Economics in the United States of America: A Review and Interpretation of Research, Paris, France: UNESCO, 34–37

9. George C. Archibald (1959), ‘Welfare Economics, Ethics, and Essentialism’, Economica, 26 (104), November, 316–27

10. James M. Buchanan (1959), ‘Positive Economics, Welfare Economics, and Political Economy’, Journal of Law and Economics, 2, October, 124–38

11. Abram Bergson (1966), ‘ On Social Welfare Once More’, in Essays in Normative Economics, Part I, Chapter 3, Cambridge, MA, USA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 51–77

12. John Rawls ([1971] 1999), ‘Classical Utilitarianism’ and ‘Some Related Contrasts’, in A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition, Chapter 1, Sections 5 and 6, Cambridge, MA, USA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 19–30

13. Lionel Robbins (1981), ‘Economics and Political Economy’, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 71 (2), May, 1–10

14. John C. Harsanyi (1988), ‘Assessing Other People’s Utilities’, in Bertrand R. Munier (ed.) Risk, Decision and Rationality, Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company, 127–38

15. Anthony B. Atkinson (2011), ‘The Restoration of Welfare Economics’, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 101 (3), May, 157–61
16. Viktor J. Vanberg (2014), ‘Evolving Preferences and Welfare Economics: The Perspective of Constitutional Political Economy’, Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, 234 (2–3), April, 328–49

B. Social Choice Theory: From Individual Preferences to Social Orderings
17. Kenneth J. Arrow (1950), ‘A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare’, Journal of Political Economy, 58 (4), August, 328–46

18. I.M.D. Little (1952), ‘Social Choice and Individual Values’, Journal of Political Economy, 60 (5), October, 422–32

19. James M. Buchanan (1954), ‘Social Choice, Democracy, and Free Markets’, Journal of Political Economy, 62 (2), April, 114–23

20. Kenneth J. Arrow (1969), ‘Values and Collective Decision-Making’, in Peter Laslett and W.G. Runciman (eds), Philosophy, Politics and Society: Third Series, Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 215–32

21. Amartya Sen (1995), ‘Rationality and Social Choice’, American Economic Review, 85 (1), March, 1–24

22. Amartya Sen (1997), ‘Individual Preference as the Basis of Social Choice’, in Kenneth J. Arrow, Amartya Sen and Kotaro Suzumura (eds.), Social Choice Re-examined, Volume 1: Proceedings of the IEA Conference Held at Schloss Hernstein, Berndorf, near Vienna, Austria, London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 15–37

23. Kotaro Suzumura (2002), ‘Introduction to Social Choice and Welfare’, Banca D’Italia Temi Di Discussion Del Servizio Studi, 422, March, 1–45

PART III CONTRACTARIAN-CONSTITUTIONALIST ECONOMICS
A. Contractarianism: Agreement and Legitimacy
24. Knut Wicksell (1958) ‘A New Principle of Just Taxation’, in Richard A. Musgrave and Alan T. Peacock (eds), Classics in the Theory of Public Finance, London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 72–118

25. John Rawls (1957), ‘I. Justice as Fairness’, Journal of Philosophy, 54 (22), October, 653–62

26. James M. Buchanan (1964), ‘What Should Economists Do?’, Southern Economic Journal, 30 (3), January, 213–22

27. John Rawls (1999), ‘The Main Ideas of the Theory of Justice’, in A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition, Chapter 1, Section 3, Cambridge, MA, USA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 10–15

28. James M. Buchanan (1977), ‘Notes on Justice in Contract ’, in Freedom in Constitutional Contract: Perspectives of a Political Economist, College Station, TX, USA: Texas A&M University Press, 123–34

29. Geoffrey Brennan and James M. Buchanan (1985), ‘The Contractarian Vision’, in The Reasons of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy, Chapter 2, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 19–32

30. Russell Hardin (1988), ‘Review Article: Constitutional Political Economy: Agreement on Rules’, British Journal of Political Science, 18 (4), October, 513–30

31. Viktor J. Vanberg (1994), ‘Individual Choice and Institutional Constraints: The Normative Element in Classical and Contractarian Liberalism’, in Rules and Choice in Economics, Part VI, Chapter 13, London, UK and New York, NY, USA: Routledge, 208–34, references

32. Georg Vanberg and Viktor Vanberg (2017), ‘Contractarian Perspectives in Law and Economics’, in Francesco Parisi (ed.), ‘The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 1, Methodology and Concepts’, Oxford, UK and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, 246–67

B. Constitutionalism: Rules as Objects of Choice
33. Friedrich A. Hayek (1960), ‘Economic Policy and the Rule of Law’, in The Constitution of Liberty, Chapter 15, Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press, 220–33, references

34. James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock (1962), ‘A Generalized Economic Theory of Constitutions’, in The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy, Part II, Chapter 6, Ann Arbor: MI, USA: University of Michigan Press, 63–84, references

35. Franz Böhm (1989),’Rule of Law in a Market Economy’, in Alan T. Peacock and Hans Willgerodt (eds), Germany’s Social Market Economy: Origins and Evolution, New York, NY, USA: St. Martin’s Press, 46–67

36. Gilbert W. Nutter (1968), ‘Economic Welfare and Welfare Economics’, Journal of Economic Issues, 2 (2), 166–72

37. Rutledge Vining (1984), ‘Three Main Concepts That Inhere In The Circumstances Cited’ and ‘Concluding Remarks upon What an Economic System is, and the Problem of Specifying Norms of the Outcome of its Working’, in On Appraising the Performance of an Economic System, Chapter 1 and Chapter 6, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 3–33, 170–81, references

38. James M. Buchanan (1987), ‘The Constitution of Economic Policy’, American Economic Review, 77 (3), June, 243–50

39. Helmut Leipold (1990), ‘Neoliberal Ordnungstheorie and Constitutional Economics: A Comparison between Eucken and Buchanan’, Constitutional Political Economy, 1 (1), December, 47–65

40. James M. Buchanan (1995), ‘Individual Rights, Emergent Social States, and Behavioural Feasibility’, Rationality and Society, 7 (2), April, 141–50

41. Viktor J. Vanberg (2005), ‘Market and State: The Perspective of Constitutional Political Economy’, Journal of Institutional Economics, 1 (1), June, 23–49

Index