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Evolving Preferences and Policy Advice in Democratic Society

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  • Viktor J. Vanberg

Abstract

The theoretical consistency and practical applicability of traditional welfare economics has long been subject to controversy. More recently the challenge has been added from evolutionary approaches that the individual preferences on which the welfare calculus is based are themselves subject to change. The purpose of the present paper is twofold. It takes, firstly, a closer look at the discussion on the need and feasibility of an evolutionary welfare economics that accommodates evolving preferences. The particular focus is on proposal advanced by three authors, Carl Christian von Weizsäcker, Ulrich Witt and Robert Sugden. And it seeks, secondly, to show that the constitutional economics paradigm can deal with the evolving-preferences-issue in a more coherent and consistent way than approaches that remain within the mind-frame of welfare economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Viktor J. Vanberg, 2009. "Evolving Preferences and Policy Advice in Democratic Society," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-19, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2009-19
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    File URL: ftp://137.248.191.199/RePEc/esi/discussionpapers/2009-19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2008. "The Economics of Moral Preferences," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 605-628, October.
    2. Ulrich Witt, 2003. "Economic policy making in evolutionary perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 77-94, April.
    3. Vanberg, Viktor J., 2005. "Market and state: the perspective of constitutional political economy," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 23-49, June.
    4. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2007. "Democracy, Citizen Sovereignty and Constitutional Economics," Chapters,in: Public Choice and the Challenges of Democracy, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Ulrich Witt & Christian Schubert, 2008. "Constitutional interests in the face of innovations: how much do we need to know about risk preferences?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 203-225, September.
    6. Witt, Ulrich, 1996. "Innovations, Externalities and the Problem of Economic Progress," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 113-130, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Safarzyńska, Karolina, 2013. "Evolutionary-economic policies for sustainable consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 187-195.

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