Non-Welfarist Paretian Methods of Policy Assessment

8 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2001

See all articles by Howard F. Chang

Howard F. Chang

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Date Written: October 2001

Abstract

In a recent article, Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell claim that any non-welfarist method of policy assessment violates the Pareto principle. This comment presents a simple example of a Paretian method of policy assessment that refutes their claim. Unless we make questionable assumptions, such as axioms regarding independence and continuity of the social welfare function, the Pareto principle does not imply that we must make social choices based only on individuals' utilities.

JEL Classification: D60, D63, K00

Suggested Citation

Chang, Howard F., Non-Welfarist Paretian Methods of Policy Assessment (October 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=288085 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.288085

Howard F. Chang (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-9497 (Phone)
215-573-2025 (Fax)

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