Merit goods in a utilitarian framework
Merit goods are defined here as goods for which government interference with the aggregated willingness to pay increases utility. The paper argues that three cases exist where consideration for merit goods would lead to a Pareto improvement and where merit goods should therefore be reintegrated into the public economics framework. The state may be better informed about the conditions for the possibility of certain consumer wants. In cases of multiple preference orders within one person, the state may need to play a role if market preferences and reflective preferences are to converge. And the state may be needed to internalize psychological externalities. The inclusion of the merit goods concept may explain how some policies, like schooling policy, may increase overall well-being, whereas the classical public economics framework is unable to do so.
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Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Brennan, Timothy J., 1989. "A Methodological Assessment of Multiple Utility Frameworks," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 189-208, October.
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- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Testing Theories of Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 147, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Kavka, Gregory S., 1991. "Is Individual Choice Less Problematic than Collective Choice?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 143-165, October.
- Stefan Mann, 2004. "The expert valuation method for assessing agro-environmental policy," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 541-554.
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