Environmental Policy when People's Preferences are Inconsistent, Non-Welfaristic, or simply Not Developed
This paper discusses how a benevolent policy maker should act based on some, possibly non-welfaristic,ethical principle in cases where people's preferences are not perfectly informed,consistent and fully developed with regard to all goods, including all kinds of environmental goods, as is normally assumed in mainstream economic theory. When stated or revealed preferences do not reflect the maximization of individual welfare, it is argued that welfare,rather than preferences, has intrinsic value. However, it is also argued that properly designed stated preference methods may provide useful information about people’s views about alternative ethical ends, besides human well-being, and that policy makers should take such views seriously.
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