The Public Critique of Welfare Economics: An Exploration
AbstractThe welfare economic method for analyzing the case for government intervention is often criticized for ignoring the political determination of policies. While many economists accept the thrust of this critique, exactly when and how political determination interferes with a welfare economic analysis is not well understood. This paper explores the logic of the critique in a specific context, demonstrating how political determination of policy affects the case for government intervention. We show that one form of intervention is likely to have an impact on others through the political process. These spillover effects may even provide a justification for interventions that the welfare economic approach would reject.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7083.
Date of creation: Apr 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. " On the Public Choice Critique of Welfare Economics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(3-4), pages 253-73, March.
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-1999-04-27 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-1999-04-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-1999-04-27 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-ENV-1999-04-27 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-MIC-1999-04-27 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-1999-04-27 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PKE-1999-04-27 (Post Keynesian Economics)
- NEP-POL-1999-04-27 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-PUB-1999-04-27 (Public Finance)
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