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An Efficiency Approach to the Evaluation of Policy Changes

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  • Coate, Stephen

Abstract

This paper describes an efficiency approach to the evaluation of policy changes. Rather than comparing the utility allocations that arise before and after a policy change is introduced, this approach evaluates a policy change by comparing it with other possible changes which might be made from the status quo. The main merit of the approach is that it is founded on the Pareto criterion rather than on a distributional value judgment. The paper provides a precise statement of the approach and applies it to a number of examples. Some objections to the approach are also anticipated and discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Coate, Stephen, 2000. "An Efficiency Approach to the Evaluation of Policy Changes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 437-455, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:110:y:2000:i:463:p:437-55
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    1. Dixit, Avinash K & Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Tax Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gowdy, John, 2005. "Toward a new welfare economics for sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 211-222, April.
    2. MERTENS, Jean-François & RUBINCHIK, Anna, 2006. "Intergenerational equity and the discount rate for cost-benefit analysis," CORE Discussion Papers 2006091, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Timothy Besley & Thiemo Fetzer & Hannes Mueller, 2015. "The Welfare Cost Of Lawlessness: Evidence From Somali Piracy," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 203-239, April.
    4. repec:bla:pacecr:v:22:y:2017:i:2:p:249-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Robin Boadway, 2010. "Efficiency and Redistribution: An Evaluative Review of Louis Kaplow's The Theory of Taxation and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 964-979, December.
    6. John M. Gowdy, 2004. "Toward a New Welfare Foundation for Sustainability," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0401, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    7. Daniel Bromley, 2004. "Reconsidering Environmental Policy: Prescriptive Consequentialism and Volitional Pragmatism," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(1), pages 73-99, May.
    8. Callan, Tim & Keeney, Mary J. & Nolan, Brian & Walsh, John R., 2001. "Reforming Tax and Welfare," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS42.
    9. Stanley L. Winer & Walter Hettich, 2002. "The Political Economy of Taxation: Positive and Normative Analysis when Collective Choice Matters," Carleton Economic Papers 02-11, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 2004.
    10. John Mullahy, 2017. "Individual Results May Vary: Elementary Analytics of Inequality-Probability Bounds, with Applications to Health-Outcome Treatment Effects," NBER Working Papers 23603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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