A criticism of Pigou's welfare economics
Biswas, Ajit Kumar
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In Chapter I, the object of the study is outlined, followed by a discussion of Pre-Pigovian welfare economics. The purpose of our study consists in a critical analysis of Professor Pigou1s welfare concept and propositions in the light of ideas held by his predecessors and successors. Pre-Pigovian welfare economics is dealt with under three different groups among which a logical classification is possible, These groups are English classical economists (A. Smith, B. Say, D. Ricardo, and others), continental classical economists (V. Pareto, L. Walras, E. Barone) and neo-claseical economists (H. Sidgwick, A. Marshall, and others), It is shown that the English classical economists regarded free competition as a means to the widening of the economy rather than to a rational allocation of resources, The continental economists, Pareto and Barone formulated the concept of subjective optimum and dealt with the problem of allocation in the static sense. The neo-classical economists made a compromise. While accepting the doctrine of marginal utility, they were not preoccupied with the static problem of allocation. In the manner of the English classicists, they discussed the forces which govern the supply of ultimate factors of production and human wants. A typical feature of neo-classical economics is Marshall's partial surplus analysis.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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