First published in 1981, Professor Mishan’s Economic Efficiency and Social Welfare: Selected Essays on Fundamental Aspects of the Economic Theory of Social Welfare is a collection of 22 pioneering essays written while the author was teaching at the London School of Economics and chosen to indicate landmarks in the development of his own thought. Professor Mishan, who also enjoys an international reputation as a popular writer on the impact of modern economic growth on social welfare, is among the foremost authorities in the field of resource allocation, and his influence in his subject area has been profound. Mishan’s essays, while generally accessible to the layman due to the author’s lucidity, his economy in the use of mathematical notation and his concern with perspective, are invaluable reading for the economics undergraduate. The essays are particularly relevant to upper level students of project appraisal, welfare economics and cost benefit analysis requiring a coherent survey of their field of study.
Table of Contents
PART 1: ECONOMIC CRITERIA 1. A Reappraisal of the Principles of Resource Allocation 2. Second thoughts on Second Best 3. The Recent Debate on Welfare Criteria 4. Welfare Criteria: Resolution of a Paradox 5. Economic Criteria for Intergenerational Comparisons PART 2: ECONOMIC RENT OR SURPLUS 6. The Plain Truth About Consumer Surplus 7. Rent as a Measure of Welfare Change 8. What is Producer’s Surplus? PART 3: EXTERNALITIES 9. Evaluation of Life and Limb: A Theoretical Approach 10. Interpretation of the Benefits of Private Transport 11. Pareto Optimality and the Law 12. What is the Optimal Level of Pollution? 13. The Postwar Literature on Externalities: An Interpretive Essay PART 4: PROJECT EVALUATION 14. Flexibility and Consistency in Project Evaluation 15. The Use of Compensating and Equivalent Variations in Cost-Benefit Analysis 16. The Nature of Economics Expertise Reconsidered 17. The Use of DPV in Public Investment Criteria: A Critique 18. The Difficulty in Evaluating Long-lived Projects PART 5: REFLECTIONS ON ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY AND SOCIAL WELFARE 19. What is Wrong With Roskill? 20. The Folklore of the Market: An Inquiry into the Economic Doctrines of the Chicago School 21. Do Economic Evaluations of Allocative Changes Have Any Validity in the West Today? 22. Whatever Happened to Progress?