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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony B. Atkinson, 2011. "The Restoration of Welfare Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 157-161, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:157-61
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.157
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
    3. ,, 2009. "Economics of Monetary Union," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 8, number 9780199563234.
    4. A. B. Atkinson, 2009. "Economics as a Moral Science," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(s1), pages 791-804, October.
    5. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1145-1177.
    6. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
    7. Wright, Richard, 1989. "Robbins as a Political Economist: A Response," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 471-478, June.
    8. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1-14.
    9. Sen, Amartya, 1999. "Commodities and Capabilities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195650389.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Cookson & Owen Cotton-Barrett & Matthew Adler & Miqdad Asaria & Toby Ord, 2016. "Years of good life based on income and health: Re-engineering cost-benefit analysis to examine policy impacts on wellbeing and distributive justice," Working Papers 132cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    2. Olivier Bargain & André Decoster & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Welfare, labor supply and heterogeneous preferences: evidence for Europe and the US," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(4), pages 789-817, October.
    3. repec:kap:jecinq:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10888-017-9370-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:1261-1276 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dorothée Brécard, 2013. "Environmental Quality Competition and Taxation in the Presence of Green Network Effect Among Consumers," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 1-19.
    6. Paolo Giovanni Piacquadio, 2017. "A Fairness Justification of Utilitarianism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1261-1276, July.
    7. Li, Cheng, 2015. "Morality and Value Neutrality in Economics: A Dualist View," MPRA Paper 67264, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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