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Readings in Social Welfare: Theory and Policy

ISBN: 978-0-631-22071-8
352 pages
September 2000, Wiley-Blackwell
Readings in Social Welfare: Theory and Policy (0631220712) cover image
In Readings in Social Welfare: Theory and Policy, Robert E. Kuenne packages postwar classics with contemporary discussions to examine the impact of social welfare theory on policy development. The book introduces students to frameworks developed by scholars to monitor the market's inefficiencies, to modify its income distribution and resource allocation, and to make decisions for social investment.

The readings cover practical issues of national and international concern, such as income and wealth distribution, the measurement of social welfare, recent movements in government regulation theory and practice, the economics of drug prohibition, and the role of the public's risk aversion in the determination of public investment.

This book and its complement, Readings in Applied Microeconomic Theory: Market Forces and Solutions, are part of the Blackwell Readings for Contemporary Economics series.

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List of Authors.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

PART I. THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH: STATIC AND LIFE CYCLE VIEWS.

Introduction.

1. Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth (Edward N. Wolff).

2. The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform (Martin Feldstein).

PART II. SOCIAL JUDGMENTS AND MEASUREMENTS.

Introduction.

3. The General Theory of Second Best (R. G. Lipsey and Kelvin Lancaster).

4. An Economic Theory of Clubs (James M. Buchanan).

5. Consumer’s Surplus Without Apology (Robert D. Willig).

6. The Social Costs of Monopoly Power (Keith Cowling and Dennis C. Mueller).

7. Rationality and Social Choice (Amartya Sen).

PART III. WHEN MARKETS FAIL OR FALTER.

Introduction.

8. The Tragedy of the Commons (Garrett Hardin).

9. The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism (George A. Akerlof).

PART IV. SOCIAL REGULATION.

Introduction.

10. Behavior of the firm Under Regulatory Constraint (Harvey Averch and Leland L. Johnson).

11. Theories of Economic Regulation (Richard A. Posner).

12. Surprises of Airline Deregulation (Alfred E. Kahn).

13. The Economic Case Against Drug Prohibition (Jeffrey A. Miron and Jeffrey Zwiebel).

14. Economic Foundations of the Current Regulatory Reform Efforts (W. Kip Viscusi).

PART V. PUBLIC GOODS AND INVESTMENT.

Introduction.

15. The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure (Paul A. Samuelson).

16. Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions (Kenneth J. Arrow and Robert C. Lind).

17. Selling Spectrum Rights (John McMillan).

18. Analyzing the Airwaves Auction (R. Preston McAFee and John McMillan).

Index.

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Robert E. Kuenne is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Princeton University and Director, General Economic Systems Company. His research focuses on general economic equilibrium theory, oligopoly theory, spatial theory, and defense economics. The author of numerous scholarly articles and 18 books, he is Associate Editor of the Journal of Regional Science and a board member of many acclaimed journals. He holds his Ph.D. from Harvard University, has received an honorary Ph.D. degree from the University of Ume?, Sweden, and has lectured and consulted widely.
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* Contains both classic readings from the second half of the twentieth century and selections from contemporary debates.
* Examines social welfare and government policy over the last 25 years.
* Introduces graduates and advanced undergraduates to debates on how to handle problems such as selling government property, combining private investment accounts into social security, and prohibiting drugs.
* Complements Readings in Applied Microeconomic Theory: Market Forces and Solutions.
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