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The Revolution in Welfare Economics and its Implications for Environmental Valuation and Policy

  • John M. Gowdy


    (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA)

Two research programs are brought together to contribute to the growing body of work on alternatives to standard welfare-based approaches to environmental valuation and policy. The first is the theoretical literature undermining the "new welfare economics." The second is the growing body of work on endogenous preferences. Both these research programs point to the necessity of interpersonal comparisons in welfare economics. This paper focuses on (1) the theoretical flaws in the use of Potential Pareto Improvements as a policy guide, (2) the "filtering" of expressed preferences through the axioms of consumer choice, and (3) the role of endogenous preferences in a reformulation of environmental valuation and policy.

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Paper provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics in its series Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics with number 0315.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rpi:rpiwpe:0315
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