Chapter

Collective Utility and Welfare

Ian Malcolm David Little

in Ethics, Economics, and Politics

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257041
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601293 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199257043.003.0002
 Collective Utility and Welfare

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Normative economics is mainly concerned with the welfare of communities. Somehow the happiness or utility of individuals has to be compared, and amalgamated or added up. The status of the interpersonal comparisons involved is discussed. The mathematical conditions required for making sense of a general measure of the welfare or utility of a community are outlined. It is concluded that the concept makes sense, but the conditions are very demanding.

Keywords: collective welfare; happiness; interpersonal comparisons; value judgements

Chapter.  2872 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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