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Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Welfare

Assessing Welfare When Preferences Change

By Martin Binder

Routledge – 2010 – 280 pages

Series: Routledge Advances in Social Economics

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartHardback: $155.00
    978-0-415-56298-0
    April 25th 2010

Description

It has always been an important task of economics to assess individual and social welfare. The traditional approach has assumed that the measuring rod for welfare is the satisfaction of the individual’s given and unchanging preferences, but recent work in behavioural economics has called this into question by pointing out the inconsistencies and context-dependencies of human behaviour. When preferences are no longer consistent, we have to ask whether a different measure for individual welfare can, and should, be found.

This book goes beyond the level of preference and instead considers whether a hedonistic view of welfare represents a viable alternative, and what its normative implications are. Offering a welfare theory with stronger behavioural and evolutionary foundations, Binder follows a naturalistic methodology to examine the foundations of welfare, connecting the concept with a dynamic theory of preference learning, and providing a more realistic account of human behaviour.

This book will be of interest to researchers and those working in the fields of welfare economics, behavioural and evolutionary economics.

Reviews

"If the assumption is no longer that our preferences and wants are fixed but that they change over time, how should we think of economic welfare? In a much needed book, Martin Binder puts a novel discussion of these crucial issues on a firm behavioural and evolutionary footing." - Jack Vromen, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contents

1.Introduction, 2. Conceptual Background and Welfare Terminology, 3. Other Approaches to Welfare Economics, 4. A Positive Basis: The Learning Theory of Consumption, 5. An Evolutionary Theory of Welfare, 6. Evolutionary Welfare Economics, 7. Concluding Remarks, Bibliography

Author Bio

Martin Binder is a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany.

Name: Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Welfare: Assessing Welfare When Preferences Change (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: By Martin Binder. It has always been an important task of economics to assess individual and social welfare. The traditional approach has assumed that the measuring rod for welfare is the satisfaction of the individual’s given and unchanging preferences, but...
Categories: Economic Theory & Philosophy, Political Economy, Philosophy of Social Science, Welfare, Europe - Social Policy, Health Policy