Readings in Social Welfare: Theory and Policy
September 2000, Wiley-Blackwell
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
This book and its complement, Readings in Applied Microeconomic Theory: Market Forces and Solutions, are part of the Blackwell Readings for Contemporary Economics series.
PART I. THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH: STATIC AND LIFE CYCLE VIEWS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
* 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.