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A Contribution to the Theory of Welfare Accounting

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  • Weitzman, Martin L

Abstract

A kind of "unified theory" is proposed as a dynamic generalization of the standard consumer-surplus methodology for evaluating welfare changes. The "unified theory" allows rigorous dynamic welfare comparisons to be inferred between any two economic situations--from just knowing current incomes and observing a short-run market demand schedule. Essentially, the change in present discounted future utility is exactly captured by the formula: difference in current income plus consumer surplus. This well-known formula is thereby shown to cover a far wider class of welfare comparisons than is customarily treated in the textbook static case. Copyright 2001 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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  • Weitzman, Martin L, 2001. " A Contribution to the Theory of Welfare Accounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(1), pages 1-23, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:1:p:1-23
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    Cited by:

    1. Dietz, Simon & Hepburn, Cameron, 2013. "Benefit–cost analysis of non-marginal climate and energy projects," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 61-71.
    2. Asheim, Geir B., 2007. "Can NNP be used for welfare comparisons?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 11-31, February.
    3. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2008. "Dynamic cost-benefit analysis of large projects: The role of capital and investment costs," Umeå Economic Studies 727, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    4. Thomas Aronsson, 2010. "Welfare Measurement, Involuntary Unemployment, And Heterogeneity," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(3), pages 559-571, September.
    5. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 2.
    6. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2006. "Welfare measurement under threats of environmental catastrophes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 421-429, July.
    7. Chuan-Zhong Li & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 2008. "Evaluating Projects in a Dynamic Economy: Some New Envelope Results," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 1-16, February.
    8. Sjögren, Tomas, 2016. "Age Dependent Discount Rates, Time Inconsistent Behavior and Welfare Measurement," Umeå Economic Studies 934, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    9. Geir B. Asheim, 2003. "Green national accounting for welfare and sustainability:A Taxonomy Of Assumptions And Results," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 113-130, May.
    10. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2004. "The Role of the Hamiltonian in Dynamic Price Index Theory," Umeå Economic Studies 626, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    11. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2010. "Dynamic cost-benefit analysis of large projects: The role of capital cost," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 128-130, November.
    12. Fenichel, Eli P., 2013. "Economic considerations for social distancing and behavioral based policies during an epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 440-451.
    13. Chuan-Zhong Li & Gunnar Isacsson, 2012. "Valuing urban accessibility and air quality in Sweden," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 881-898, June.
    14. Li, Chuan Zhong & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2006. "Money Metrics Welfare Measures in Imperfect Markets under Growth," Umeå Economic Studies 694, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    15. Asheim, Geir B., 2004. "Perspectives on Weitzman's stationary equivalent: Discussion of Kazuo Mino's "Weitzman's Rule with Market Distortions"," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 331-335, August.
    16. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2012. "Growth, Pollution, and Money-Metric Welfare in Imperfect Markets," CERE Working Papers 2012:15, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
    17. Collins, Ross D. & Selin, Noelle E. & de Weck, Olivier L. & Clark, William C., 2017. "Using inclusive wealth for policy evaluation: Application to electricity infrastructure planning in oil-exporting countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 23-34.
    18. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2006. "Comprehensive NNP, social welfare, and the rate of return," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 254-259, February.
    19. Cairns, Robert D. & Lasserre, Pierre, 2006. "Implementing carbon credits for forests based on green accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 610-621, April.
    20. Asheim, Geir B., 2005. "Welfare comparisons between societies with different population sizes and environmental characteristics," Memorandum 25/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    21. Chuan-Zhong Li & Ranjula Bali Swain, 2016. "Growth, Water Resilience, and Sustainability: A DSGE Model Applied to South Africa," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(04), pages 1-23, December.
    22. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2002. "On the Choice of Metrics in Dynamic Welfare Analysis: Utility versus Money Measures," Umeå Economic Studies 590, Umeå University, Department of Economics.

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