Why Satisfy Preferences?
AbstractContemporary mainstream normative economists assess policies in terms of their capacities to satisfy preferences, though most would concede that other factors such as freedom, rights, and justice are also relevant. Why should policy be responsive to preferences? This essay argues that the best reason is that people's preferences are in some circumstances good evidence of what will benefit them. When those circumstances do not obtain and preferences are not good evidence of welfare, there is little reason to satisfy preferences.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2011-24.
Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 05 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-01-18 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-HME-2012-01-18 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-HPE-2012-01-18 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bauman, Yoram & Finkle, Aaron & Zerbe, Jr., Richard O., 2005.
"An Aggregate Measure for Benefit-Cost Analysis,"
- Sugden, Robert & Williams, Alan, 1978. "The Principles of Practical Cost-Benefit Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198770411, September.
- Samuel Fankhauser & Richard Tol & DAVID Pearce, 1997. "The Aggregation of Climate Change Damages: a Welfare Theoretic Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 249-266, October.
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