By S. K. Nath (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Perspective of Welfare Economics
Basically it would be a value judgement, though it should obviously be in the light of such facts as the expected rate of growth of population, the desired rate of growth of consumption 53 per head, the existing distribution of incomes and wealth, the expected changes in that distribution, and so on. A suitable measurement of the social marginal product of investments is even more important. , it is too much to expect that a businessman's evaluation of the marginal product of an investment would always be one that the social decision-makers would want to accept.
It should also be obvious that the socially optimal arrangement of economic policies is likely to shift from period to period. In practice, even that which seems the socially optimal pattern for the economy to follow through time, is likely to change from period to period - as new information becomes available and attitudes and beliefs change. 3 PARETIAN OPTIMA In our discussion so far in this chapter we have not assumed the social welfare function to be of any particular ethical type. But the Paretian welfare economists' pronouncements on policy matters are based on the presumption that all social welfare functions will be of the Paretian ethical type.
The second chapter was broadly concerned with propositions about circumstances which maximise social welfare. A related question which often needs to be answered is: Will this economic policy increase social welfare? Or, did that economic policy increase social welfare? If the question is about the future, it is ex ante policy evaluation. If it is about the past, it is ex post policy evaluation. e. the set of arrangements which maximises social welfare); but it does not necessarily follow. In a mountain range, though an upward path leads towards a peak, that may not be the highest peak.
A Perspective of Welfare Economics by S. K. Nath (auth.)