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A Contribution to the Theory of Welfare Accounting

  • Weitzman, Martin L

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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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 103 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-23

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:1:p:1-23
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