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normative economics


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The part of economics that is concerned with how the economy ought to be run. The main considerations are efficiency and equity. On the efficiency side, it asks whether any given objective could be achieved using fewer real resources. If this could be done, it would leave more resources available to achieve other desirable ends. On the equity side, it asks whether the distribution of costs and benefits is desirable, given objectives such as equality, fair rewards for effort, and not disappointing people's reasonable expectations. These aims are not always mutually consistent, and normative economics has to consider the trade-offs between them and between the equity and the efficiency effects of any arrangements.

Subjects: Economics.


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