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A Contribution to the Theory of Welfare Comparisons

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  • Martin L Weitzman

Abstract

Using only information based on currently-observable market behavior, the paper shows how to make rigorous dynamic welfare comparisons among economies or economic situations having arbitrarily-different endowments and technologies,but sharing a common dynamic preference ordering. The correct answers to seemingly complicated questions, which intrinsically involve comparing wealth-like measures of dynamic well-being, can be translated isomorphically into a simple-minded story told in the familiar language of old-fashioned static consumer-welfare theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1864.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1864

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  1. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. William D. Nordhaus, 1995. "How Should We Measure Sustainable Income?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1101, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  4. Weitzman, Martin L, 1997. " Sustainability and Technical Progress," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 1-13, March.
  5. Karl-Göran Mäler, 1991. "National accounts and environmental resources," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, March.
  6. Michael J. Boskin, 1998. "Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicholas Oulton, 2002. "Productivity versus welfare: or, GDP versus Weitzman's NDP," Bank of England working papers 163, Bank of England.
  2. John Hartwick, 2001. "National Accounting with Natural and Other Types of Capital," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(4), pages 329-341, August.

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