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Should Preferences Count?

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  • Mark Sagoff
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    Abstract

    As a normative discipline, welfare and therefore resource economics postulates that preferences should count in the allocation of resources. This postulate cannot be justified in relation to choice or to well-being. The normative qualities that attend choices-e.g., accountability, responsibility, commitment, and consent-explain why choices should count, but not preferences, which are not actions but theoretical entities constructed ad hoc from stipulated descriptions of behavior they are then said to explain. The satisfaction of preferences, moreover, has no demonstrable relation with any conception of welfare or well-being not simply defined in terms of it.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 127-144

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:70:y:1994:i:2:p:127-144

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    Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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    Cited by:
    1. Gregory, Robin & Slovic, Paul, 1997. "A constructive approach to environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 175-181, June.
    2. Gowdy, John & Rosser, J. Barkley & Roy, Loraine, 2013. "The evolution of hyperbolic discounting: Implications for truly social valuation of the future," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(S), pages S94-S104.
    3. Hampicke, Ulrich, 2003. "Die monetäre Bewertung von Naturgütern zwischen ökonomischer Theorie und politischer Umsetzung," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 52(8).
    4. Ojea, Elena & Loureiro, Maria L., 2007. "Altruistic, egoistic and biospheric values in willingness to pay (WTP) for wildlife," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 807-814, September.
    5. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
    6. Carson, Richard T & Flores, Nicholas A, 2000. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt75k752s7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    7. Bromley, Daniel W., 1995. "Property rights and natural resource damage assessments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 129-135, August.
    8. Andrew Mill, Greig & van Rensburg, Tom M. & Hynes, Stephen & Dooley, Conor, 2007. "Preferences for multiple use forest management in Ireland: Citizen and consumer perpectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 642-653, January.
    9. O'Connor, Martin, 2000. "Pathways for environmental evaluation: a walk in the (Hanging) Gardens of Babylon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 175-193, August.
    10. Krausse, Michael & Alexander, Robert R., 1999. "Valuing Indigenous Biodiversity," 1999 Conference (43th), January 20-22, 1999, Christchurch, New Zealand 123828, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    11. van Rensburg, Tom M. & Mill, Greig A. & Common, Mick & Lovett, Jon, 2002. "Preferences and multiple use forest management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 231-244, December.
    12. Mann, Stefan, 2003. "Die Expertenbewertung als Alternative zur Kontingenzbewertung," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 52(8).
    13. Lazaro, Angelina & Barberan, Ramon & Rubio, Encarnacion, 2002. "The discounted utility model and social preferences:: Some alternative formulations to conventional discounting," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 317-337, June.
    14. Swallow, Stephen K., 1996. "Economic Issues In Ecosystem Management: An Introduction And Overview," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 25(2), October.
    15. Berrens, Robert P. & Bohara, Alok K. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank & Silva, Carol L. & Ganderton, Philip & Brookshire, David, 1998. "A joint investigation of public support and public values: case of instream flows in New Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 189-203, November.
    16. Sagoff, M., 1998. "Aggregation and deliberation in valuing environmental public goods:: A look beyond contingent pricing," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 213-230, February.
    17. Daniel McKenney, 1998. "Resource Economists Should Do More Cost Analysis and Less Benefit Analysis," Working Papers in Ecological Economics 9801, Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program.
    18. Straton, Anna, 2006. "A complex systems approach to the value of ecological resources," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 402-411, March.

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