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The Restoration of Welfare Economics

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  • Anthony B. Atkinson

Abstract

This paper argues that welfare economics should be restored to a prominent place on the agenda of economists, and should occupy a central role in the teaching of economics. Economists should provide justification for the ethical criteria underlying welfare statements, and these criteria require constant re-evaluation in the light of developments in economic analysis and in moral philosophy. Economists need to be more explicit about the relation between welfare criteria and the objectives of governments, policy-makers and individual citizens. Moreover, such a restoration of welfare economics should be accompanied by consideration of the adoption of an ethical code for the economics profession.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.157
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 157-61

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:157-61

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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104, February.
  2. Looney, Adam & Kroft, Kory & Chetty, Raj, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," Scholarly Articles 9748525, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. ,, 2009. "Economics of Monetary Union," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 8, number 9780199563234, September.
  4. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591, September.
  5. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931, September.
  6. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  7. A. B. Atkinson, 2009. "Economics as a Moral Science," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(s1), pages 791-804, October.
  8. Sen, Amartya, 1999. "Commodities and Capabilities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195650389, September.
  9. Wright, Richard, 1989. "Robbins as a Political Economist: A Response," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 471-78, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Bargain, Olivier & Decoster, André & Dolls, Mathias & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2011. "Welfare, Labor Supply and Heterogeneous Preferences: Evidence for Europe and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 6102, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Dorothée Brécard, 2013. "Environmental Quality Competition and Taxation in the Presence of Green Network Effect Among Consumers," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(1), pages 1-19, January.

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