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Economic Welfare

Hardback

Economic Welfare

9781858989310 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, US
Publication Date: 2000 ISBN: 978 1 85898 931 0 Extent: 736 pp
Economic Welfare presents an important collection of leading writings in the fields of policy evaluation. The volume focuses on the conceptual issues behind welfare economics, drawing upon contributions from economics, moral philosophy and social philosophy. The selected readings are designed to present the case both for and against extant approaches to economic welfare.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
Contents
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Economic Welfare presents an important collection of leading writings in the fields of policy evaluation. The volume focuses on the conceptual issues behind welfare economics, drawing upon contributions from economics, moral philosophy and social philosophy. The selected readings are designed to present the case both for and against extant approaches to economic welfare.

Modern welfare economics comprises three contrasting approaches. Pure Paretianism focuses on cases where everyone is made better off or worse off. This approach commands broad (although not universal) assent but does not apply to most real world choices. Cost–benefit analysis does most of the practical work for economic policy evaluation, but does not offer fully sound foundations. Newer approaches treat economic welfare as either cardinal or measurable in nature, often dropping the traditional strictures against interpersonal utility comparisons. This collection brings together these three approaches, examines their strengths and weaknesses and asks whether they share a common future.

Economic Welfare will provide an indispensable reference source for students, academics and practitioners.
Critical Acclaim
‘The articles are well chosen to cover all aspects of the subject in each case.’
– Aslib Book Guide
Contributors
26 articles, dating from 1955 to 1997
Contributors include: K. Arrow, R. Dworkin, A. Harberger, J. Harsanyi, R. Nozick, D. Parfit, J. Rawls, T. Schelling, A. Sen, H. Varian
Contents
Contents:

Acknowledgements • Introduction
Part I: Foundations
1. Hal R. Varian (1984), ‘General Equilibrium Theory and Welfare Economics’
2. Arnold C. Harberger (1971), ‘Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay’
3. Amartya Sen (1979), ‘Personal Utilities and Public Judgements: Or What’s Wrong With Welfare Economics?’
4. Tyler Cowen (1993), ‘The Scope and Limits of Preference Sovereignty’
5. Steven Kelman (1981), ‘Cost–Benefit Analysis: An Ethical Critique’
6. Robert Cooter and Peter Rappoport (1984), ‘Were the Ordinalists Wrong About Welfare Economics?’
7. Amartya Sen (1984), ‘The Living Standard’
8. Tyler Cowen (1991), ‘What a Non-Paretian Welfare Economics Would Have to Look Like’
Part II: Cost–Benefit Analysis
9. Robert D. Willig (1976), ‘Consumer’s Surplus Without Apology’
10. John S. Chipman and James C. Moore (1978), ‘The New Welfare Economics 1939–1974’
11. Richard G. Lipsey and Kelvin Lancaster (1997), ‘The General Theory of Second Best’
12. Robert C. Lind (1982), ‘A Primer on the Major Issues Relating to the Discount Rate for Evaluating National Energy Projects’
13. Martin J. Bailey and Michael C. Jensen (1972), ‘Risk and the Discount Rate for Public Investment’
14. Daniel A. Graham (1981), ‘Cost–Benefit Analysis under Uncertainty’
15. T.C. Schelling (1968), ‘The Life You Save May Be Your Own’
16. Richard A. Posner (1981), ‘The Ethical and Political Basis of Wealth Maximization’
17. Ronald M. Dworkin (1980), ‘Is Wealth a Value?’
18. Arnold C. Harberger (1978), ‘On the Use of Distributional Weights in Social Cost–Benefit Analysis’
Part III: Social Choice and Utilitarianism
19. Allan M. Feldman (1974), ‘A Very Unsubtle Version of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem’
20. Kenneth J. Arrow (1984), ‘A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare’
21. John Rawls (1972), excerpt from ‘Justice as Fairness’
22. John C. Harsanyi (1955), ‘Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility’
23. Amartya Sen (1970), ‘The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal’
24. Robert Nozick (1974/1995), ‘How Liberty Upsets Patterns’ and ‘Sen’s Argument’
25. Robert Sugden (1978), ‘Social Choice and Individual Liberty’ and ‘Discussion’
26. Derek Parfit (1986), ‘Overpopulation and the Quality of Life’
Name Index
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