DENNIS ROBERTSON ON UTILITY AND WELFARE IN THE 1950s
The paper investigates Dennis Robertson's effort to defend the Cambridge utilitarian tradition against the so-called "new welfare economics" in the 1950s. Robertson's sustained and isolated endeavor to rescue Marshallian cardinal utility attracted the attention of economists at the time. According to Robertson, welfare economics should be based on cardinal utility, and the ordinalist revolution in the consumer and welfare theories should be rejected. It was only by sticking to the study of the economic or material aspects of welfare under the assumption of measurable utility that the economist would regain its ability to approach economic welfare as an objective of economic policy.
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