Evaluating Policy: Welfare Weights And Value Judgements
This paper is concerned with the use of social welfare functions in evaluating changes. In particular, it considers suggestions that welfare weights to be used in comparing the gains and losses of different individuals (or other appropriate units of analysis), and a social time preference rate for use in cost benefit evaluation, can be estimated either from consumers’ behaviour or from the judgements implicit in tax policy. It is suggested that results are highly sensitive to the context and model specification assumed. More importantly, the argument that an estimated elasticity of marginal utility or time preference rate should be used in policy evaluations fails to recognise that fundamental value judgements are involved. Various estimates may be of interest, but they cannot be used by economists to impose value judgements. The main contribution economists can make is to examine the implications of adopting a range of alternative value judgements.
|Date of creation:||2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia|
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/economics
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Richter, Wolfram F., 1983. "From ability to pay to concepts of equal sacrifice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 211-229, March.
- David J. Evans, 2005. "The elasticity of marginal utility of consumption: estimates for 20 OECD countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(2), pages 197-224, June.
- Pasquale Scaramozzino & Giancarlo Marini, 2000. "Social time preference," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(4), pages 639-645.
- Robert J. Brent, 1984. "Use of Distributional Weights in Cost-Benefit Analysis: a Survey of Schools," Public Finance Review, SAGE Publishing, vol. 12(2), pages 213-230, April.
- Amiel, Yoram & Creedy, John & Hurn, Stan, 1999. " Measuring Attitudes towards Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 83-96, March.
- Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
- Koichi Mera, 1969. "Experimental Determination of Relative Marginal Utilities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 464-477.
- Gevers, Louis & Glejser, Herbert & Rouyer, Jean, 1979. " Professed Inequality Aversion and Its Error Component," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 238-43.
- Young, H. P., 1987. "Progressive taxation and the equal sacrifice principle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 203-214, March.
- Dr Justin van de Ven, 2003.
"Taxation, Reranking and Equivalence Scales,"
NIESR Discussion Papers
227, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
- Creedy, J. & van de Ven, J., 2001. "Taxation, Reranking and Equivalence Scales," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 782, The University of Melbourne.
- Justin van de Ven & John Creedy, 2003. "Taxation, Reranking and Equivalence Scales," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/11, New Zealand Treasury.
- Christiansen, Vidar & Jansen, Eilev S., 1978. "Implicit social preferences in the Norwegian system of indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 217-245, October.
- Frank A Cowell, 2006.
STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers
86, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:971. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Katherine Perez)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.