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Econ 4981/6981: The Philosophy of Normative Economics

Econ 4981/6981

The Philosophy of Normative Economics:

What Do We Learn from Welfare Economics?

Professor: Douglas Nelson

Office: Tilton 108 (Murphy Institute), Phone: 865-5317

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-5:30

Phone: 865-5317

email: dnelson@tulane.edu

Webpage: http://www.tulane.edu/~dnelson/


Fundamentally, economics is the study of the economy. Much of this is about facts–things we can know about the structure and dynamics of actually existing economies. However, based on this knowledge, most people expect economists to be able to give policy advice. Welfare economics, in both its pure and applied forms, is about the sorts of advice we can hope to give. In this seminar we will look at a number of key issues related to the limits of this advice. Some of these issues are abstract and some are concrete, but they all go to the fundamental question of how we compare policies (or “states of the world” more broadly). Welfare economics is both one of the most philosophical branches of economics and one of the most technical.

Prerequisites: Much of the reading is abstract, so a certain level of comfort with formal argument is necessary. Specifically, I will assume mathematical knowledge up to and including basic calculus.

Readings: Readings for the course will mainly be drawn from journal articles. In the syllabus that follows, readings denoted by a “■” are required reading; readings denoted by a “○” are optional, but at about the same technical level as the required readings; and readings denoted by a “◊” are considerably more technical.

Participation: Although there is a certain level of technical argument, much of the core material is fundamentally philosophical. It is my hope that there will be active participation/discussion in every class. Thus, I expect students to have done the reading in a timely fashion and to attend the class.

Required texts:

Allan Feldman & Roberto Serrano (2006). Welfare Economics and Social Choice Theory. New York: Springer. Moderately technical, covers many of the key issues in the course.

Daniel Hausman, Michael McPherson and Debra Satz (2017). Economic analysis, moral philosophy, and public policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This text, by three philosophers, covers many of the topics we cover in this course from the perspective of philosophers.

A couple of useful supplements are:

Amartya Sen (2017). Collective Choice and Social Welfare (Expanded Edition). Cambridge: Harvard University Press. This is a classic, maybe the classic. Covers most of the topics we will cover, and more, in both words and math.

Robin Boadway & Neil Bruce (1984). Welfare Economics. New York: Blackwell. Moderately technical, excellent coverage of core welfare economics topics.

Evaluation: Your performance in this course will be evaluated on the basis: presentation of readings; weekly analytical comments (worth 100 points total); and 1 review essay (worth 100 points). To receive an A, you must earn at least 90 percent of the points available. To pass the course you must earn at least 60 percent of the points available. Grades between these limits will be determined on the basis of your performance relative to that of the class as a whole.

Paper presentations. Every class session will discuss at least two papers with at least partly opposed points of view. We start each session with a presentation of the main arguments of those papers. Those presentations will be given by members of the seminar. Each presentation of a paper, given by one person, will summarize the main argument of the paper which s/he has been assigned.

Policy on analytical comments. Every member of the seminar must submit an analytical comment each week. The analytical comments are written assignments consisting of two parts: a comment on the assigned reading for the week (7 of 10 points); and 5 questions raised by the assigned reading for the week (3 of 10 points). The comment should be about 3 double-spaced pages long. Do not waste time summarizing the reading. The goal is to identify some aspect of the reading that strikes you as particularly interesting and to explain why you find it interesting. I presume that these comments will often deal with the relationship between the readings and the subject of your review essay, but this is not a requirement. The questions should identify things you would like to see discussed in class. The comments are due on, or before, noon of the day before the class in which the material is discussed. Late comments will not be accepted. I will drop your lowest two scores from your average.

Review essays. Every member of the class is required to produce a review essay on some area of applied welfare analysis, I expect papers in the 15-20 page range [if you have picked a topic that can be effectively exhausted in 10 pages, you have picked too narrow a topic; if you need 50 pages to do the job, not narrow enough]. There are many such topics: income distribution; taxation; trade policy; migration policy; health policy; environmental policy … . The readings for the course are generally fairly abstract, by choosing a particular policy area on which to focus, you will be able to draw on issues related to that area in our seminar discussion.

            Note that the assignment is not for you to make a welfare judgement about your chosen area of focus, but to survey the application of welfare economics to that topic with respect to the issues raised over the course of the semester. Beyond the assigned reading on the topic, I expect you to do additional reading so that you can present a broader perspective. A grade in the A-B range [i.e. 80-100] can only be earned by a paper that provides a synthesis of the literature under review. That is, if you only summarize the literature the best grade you can earn will be a C [note well: this is a maximum, you can earn a lower grade by doing a bad job of summarizing.]

            To ensure that topics are well-established and suitable for the course, I require a proposal due no later than 22 September. Late proposals will result in a 10 point penalty to be assessed on the paper’s final score. If you change your paper topic without my approval, 20 points will be deducted from your final mark. Review essays are due at the last regular meeting of the course (1 December). Late papers will not be accepted, and will earn a score of 0 points.

            These papers must be original work, plagiarism will not be tolerated. This includes: unattributed appropriation of someone else’s work; and excessive use (whether or not attributed) of a secondary source [including, in particular, any of the above survey articles.] If you are unclear as to what constitutes plagiarism, consult the Tulane University Honor Code on plagiarism.


Tulane Honor Code: All students are responsible for knowing and adhering to Tulane University’s Honor Code, available at http://tulane.edu/college/code.cfm.

SACS-Related Material

I am aware that Tulane students are able to read a standard university syllabus and determine the content of the course and its relation to the major and the individual student’s course of study. However, the administration of Tulane University, along with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS–which “accredits” primary and secondary schools as well as all varieties of 2 and 4 year undergraduate programs [with very little in the way of adjustment in rubrics, metrics, etc.]), has determined that you require additional information. I collect this material in a separate section so that you can refer to it, or discard it, as you consider appropriate.

STUDENT OBJECTIVES/OUTCOMES: By the end of the course, the student should be able to think, speak, and write fluently and competently about the ideas and issues covered in the course (as reflected in the course description and the syllabus). The student should have a solid understanding of the social, political, economic, and philosophical significance of ideas and concepts in the analysis of social networks and they should be familiar with major ideas and theories regarding explanations, interpretations, applications, and criticisms of work on social networks. The student should be able to formulate critical views concerning these issues and respond fluently and competently to questions concerning these views.

1. Students will be able to identify and recognize major themes, ideas, and concepts.

2. Students will analyze, interpret, and discuss these ideas in a scholarly and coherent manner.

3. Students will construct, formulate, and develop creative and critical scholarly assessments.

4. Students will appraise, evaluate, and appreciate the values and consequences of these ideas.



Econ 4981/6981                             SYLLABUS                                   Spring 2022

Topic I. Foundations of Welfare Economics

  • Intro: Some theoretical background

    • What do economists mean by individual “welfare”?

■ Hausman, et al., Chapters 4, 5 (pp. 70-81) & 8

■ Sen, Chapter 1.

■ Feldman & Serrano, Chapter 1

○ Broome (1991). “‘Utility’.” Economics and Philosophy, V.7-#1, 1-12.

○ Sen (1991). “Utility: Ideas and Terminology.” Economics and Philosophy, V.7-#2, 277-83. [Broome, “Reply to Sen”.]

○ Weirich (2004). “Economic Rationality”. Mele and Rawling, eds. Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 380-398.

○ Sen (1973). “Behavior and the Concept of Preference”. Economica, V.40-#159, 241-259

○ Sen (1977). “Rational Fools: A Critique of the Behavioral Foundations of Economic Theory.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.6-#4, 317-44.

○ Anand (1987). “Are the Preference Axioms Really Rational?” Theory and Decision, V.23-#2, 189-214.

○ Mongin (1991). “Rational Choice Theory Considered as Psychology and Moral Philosophy.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences, V.21-#1, 5-37.

○ Sent (2016). “Rationality, History of the Concept,” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1-11.

○ Gaus (2020). “The Limits of Homo Economicus,” in Favor, Gaus and Lamont eds, Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 37-68. 

◊ Arrow (2012). “The Nature of Preference and Choice,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 9-21.

◊ Sen, Chapter 1*

◊ Sen (1997). “Maximization and the Act of Choice.” Econometrica, V.65-#4, 745-79.

◊ Chipman (1960). “The Foundations of Utility.” Econometrica, V.28-#2, 193-224.

    • Fundamental theorems of welfare economics

■ Feldman & Serrano, Chapter 2 & 3

○ Stiglitz (1991). “The Invisible Hand and Modern Welfare Economics”. In Vines and Stevenson (1991). Information, Strategy, and Public Policy. Oxford: Blackwell, 12-50.

○ Stiglitz (1995). “Critique of the First Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics”. Chapter 3 in Stiglitz, Whither Socialism? Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 27-44.

○ Stiglitz (1995). “A Critique of the Second Fundamental Theorem”. Chapter 4 in Stiglitz, Whither Socialism? Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 45-63.

○ Blaug (2007). “The Fundamental Theorems of Modern Welfare Economics, Historically Contemplated.” History of Political Economy, V.39-#2, 185-207.

○ Feldman (2017). “Welfare Economics,” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1-14.

○ Hildenbrand and Kirman (1988). “Introduction”. Chapter 1 of Equilibrium Analysis: Variations on Themes by Edgeworth and Walras. Amsterdam: North-Holland, pp. 1-49.

◊ Arrow (1951). “An Extension of the Basic Theorems of Classical Welfare Economics,” Proceedings of the second Berkeley symposium on mathematical statistics and probability. University of California Press, 507-32.

◊ Hammond (1998). “The Efficiency Theorems and Market Failure,” in A. P. Kirman ed Elements of General Equilibrium Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell, 211-60.

◊ Maskin and Roberts (2008). “On the Fundamental Theorems of General Equilibrium.” Economic Theory, V.35-#2, 233-40.

◊ Piccione and Rubinstein. (2007). “Equilibrium in the Jungle.” The Economic Journal, V.117-#522, 883-96.

    • Unanimity & the Pareto Rule

■ Hausman, et al., Chapter 9, pp. 146-158.

■ Sen, Chapter 2

○ Sen (1979). “Personal Utilities and Public Judgements: Or What’s Wrong with Welfare Economics.” The Economic Journal, V.89-#355, 537-58.

○ Mongin (2016). “Spurious Unanimity and the Pareto Principle.” Economics and Philosophy, V.32-#3, 511-32.

○ Kaplow (2016). “Pareto Principle and Competing Principles,” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1-7.

◊ Sen, Chapter 2*, section 1.

◊ Danan, Gajdos, Hill and Tallon (2016). “Robust Social Decisions.” American Economic Review, V.106-#9, 2407-25.

◊ Duddy and Piggins (2020). “A Foundation for Pareto Optimality.” Journal of Mathematical Economics, V.88, 25-30.

◊ Brunnermeier, Simsek and Xiong (2014). “A Welfare Criterion for Models with Distorted Beliefs.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.129-#4, 1753-97.

◊ Gilboa, Samuelson and Schmeidler (2014). “No-Betting-Pareto Dominance.” Econometrica, V.82-#4, 1405-42.

◊ Gayer, Gilboa, Samuelson and Schmeidler (2014). “Pareto Efficiency with Different Beliefs.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.43-#S2, S151-S71.

◊ Blume, Cogley, Easley, Sargent and Viktor Tsyrennikov (2018). “A Case for Incomplete Markets.” Journal of Economic Theory, V.178, 191-221.

◊ Kim and Kim (2021). “A Welfare Criterion with Endogenous Welfare Weights for Belief Disagreement Models.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, V.191, 312-33.

    • On Giving Economic Advice: The Theory of Economic Policy

■ Hoekman and Nelson (2020). “Rethinking International Subsidy Rules.” World Economy, V.43-#12, 3104-32.

○ Feldman and Serrano, Chapters 7 & 8

○ Johnson (1963). “Optimal Trade Intervention in the Presence of Domestic Distortions,” in R. E. Baldwin and others eds, Trade, Growth and the Balance of Payments. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 3-34.

○ Bhagwati (1967). The Theory and Practice of Commercial Policy: Departures from Unified Exchange Rates. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

○ Blackorby (1990). “Economic Policy in a Second-Best Environment.” The Canadian Journal of Economics, V.23-#4, 748-71.

◊ Bhagwati and Ramaswami (1963). “Domestic Distortions, Tariffs and the Theory of Optimum Subsidy.” Journal of Political Economy, V.71-#1, 44-50.

◊ Bhagwati, Ramaswami and Srinivasan (1969). “Domestic Distortions, Tariffs, and the Theory of Optimum Subsidy: Some Further Results.” Journal of Political Economy, V.77-#6, 1005-10.

◊ Bhagwati and Srinivasan (1969). “Optimal Intervention to Achieve Non-Economic Objectives.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.36-#1, 27-38.

◊ Lloyd (1974). “A More General Theory of Price Distortions in Open Economies.” Journal of International Economics, V.4-#4, 365-86.

◊ Lipsey and Lancaster (1956). “The General Theory of Second Best.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.24-#1, 11-32.

◊ Roberts (1992). “When Does a Decrease in a Distortion Increase Welfare?” Economics Letters, V.39-#1, 37-42.

◊ Dixit (1975). “Welfare Effects of Tax and Price Changes.” Journal of Public Economics, V.4-#2, 103-23. [Dixit & Munk, correction, 1977, JPubE, V.8-#1, pp. 103-107]

◊ Hatta (1977). “A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.44-#1, 1-21.

◊ Turunen-Red (1990). “On the Hatta Normality Condition and Tax Reforms.” Journal of Public Economics, V.43-#2, 253-62.

◊ Baqaee and Farhi (2019). “Productivity and Misallocation in General Equilibrium.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.135-#1, 105-63.


  • The “New” Welfare Economics: The Kaldor-Hicks Rule (Efficiency as an Objective)

■ Hausman, et al., Chapter 9, pp. 158-164.

■ Feldman & Serrano, Chapter 9

■ Chipman (2017). “Compensation Principle,” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1-15.

■ Robbins (1938). “Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility: A Comment.” The Economic Journal, V.48-#192, 635-41.

■ Kaldor (1939). “Welfare Propositions of Economics and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility.” The Economic Journal, V.49-#195, 549-52.

■ Hicks (1939). “The Foundations of Welfare Economics.” The Economic Journal, V.49-#196, 696-712.

○ Scitovszky (1941). “A Note on Welfare Propositions in Economics.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.9-#1, 77-88.

○ Samuelson (1950). “Evaluation of Real National Income.” Oxford Economic Papers, V.2-#1, 1-29.

○ Kennedy (1954). “An Alternative Proof of a Theorem in Welfare Economics.” Oxford Economic Papers, V.6-#1, 98-99.

○ Kennedy (1952). “The Economic Welfare Function and Dr. Littles Criterion.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.20-#2, 137-42.

○ Baldwin (1953). “A Comparison of Welfare Criteria.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.21-#2, 154-61.

○ Sen (1979). “The Welfare Basis of Real Income Comparisons: A Survey.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.17-#1, 1-45.

○ Keenan and Snow (1999). “A Complete Characterization of Potential Compensation Tests in Terms of Hicksian Welfare Measures.” The Canadian Journal of Economics, V.32-#1, 215-33.

○ Suzumura (2000). “Welfare Economics Beyond Welfarist-Consequentialism.” The Japanese Economic Review, V.51-#1, 1-32.

◊ Sen, Chapter 1*, section 2.

◊ Arrow (2012). “The Compensation Principle,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 34-45.

◊ Chipman and Moore (1973). “Aggregate Demand, Real National Income, and the Compensation Principle.” International Economic Review, V.14-#1, 153-81.

◊ Chipman and Moore (1978). “The New Welfare Economics 1939-1974.” International Economic Review, V.19-#3, 547-84.

◊ Bossert (1996). “The Kaldor Compensation Test and Rational Choice.” Journal of Public Economics, V.59-#2, 265-76.

◊ Gravel (2001). “On the Difficulty of Combining Actual and Potential Criteria for an Increase in Social Welfare.” Economic Theory, V.17-#1, 163-80.


  • The Bergson-Samuelson Social Welfare Function: Economics of the Fat Controller (Philosopher Kings, Dictators & Politicians)

■ Sen, Chapter 3, pp. 80-82 & Chapter 5.

■ Hausman, et al., Chapter 9, pp. 165-170.

■ Samuelson (1947). “Welfare Economics”. Chapter 8, Foundations of Economic Analysis. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. [Canvas]

○ Graaff (1957). Theoretical Welfare Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

○ Samuelson (1981). “Bergsonian Welfare Economics,” in S. Rosefielde ed Economic Welfare and the Economics of Soviet Socialism: Essays in Honor of Abram Bergson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 223-66.

○ Backhouse (2021). “Individualism and Ethics: Samuelson’s Welfare Economics,” in R. E. Backhouse, A. Baujard and T. Nishizawa eds, Welfare Theory, Public Action, and Ethical Values: Revisiting the History of Welfare Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 186-207.

○ Adler (2019). “The Social Welfare Function: An Overview,” in Adler Measuring Social Welfare: An Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 7-40.

◊ Bergson (1938). “A Reformulation of Certain Aspects of Welfare Economics.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.52-#2, 310-34.

◊ Samuelson (1956). “Social Indifference Curves.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.70-#1, 1-22.

◊ Arrow (2012). “The Social Welfare Function,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 22-33.

◊ Fisher (1956). “Income Distribution, Value Judgments, and Welfare.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.70-#3, 380-424.

◊ Kenen and Fisher (1957). “Income Distribution, Value Judgements, and Welfare: A Correction.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.71-#2, 322-24.

◊ Gorman (1959). “Are Social Indifference Curves Convex?” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.73-#3, 485-96.

◊ Chipman and Moore (1979). “On Social Welfare Functions and the Aggregation of Preferences.” Journal of Economic Theory, V.21-#1, 111-39.

◊ Suzumura (1999). “Paretian Welfare Judgements and Bergsonian Social Choice.” The Economic Journal, V.109-#455, 204-20.

◊ Suzumura and Xu (2003). “On Constrained Dual Recoverability Theorems.” Mathematical Social Sciences, V.45-#2, 143-54.


  • Time Problems: Discounting, Uncertainty & Future People

■ Feldman & Serrano, Chapter 11

■ Parfit (1986). “The Social Discount Rate”. Appendix F in Reasons and Persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 480-486.

■ Mintz-Woo (2019). “Principled Utility Discounting under Risk.” Moral Philosophy and Politics, V.6-#1, 89-112.

○ Heal (2007). “Discounting: A Review of the Basic Economics.” The University of Chicago Law Review, V.74-#1, 59-77.

○ Frederick, Loewenstein and O’Donoghue (2002). “Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.40-#2, 351-401.

○ Asheim (2010). “Intergenerational Equity.” Annual Review of Economics, V.2-#1, 197-222.

○ Mintz-Woo (2021). “A Philosopher’s Guide to Discounting,” in M. Budolfson, T. McPherson and D. Plunkett eds, Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 90-110.

○ Polasky and Dampha (2021). “Discounting and Global Environmental Change.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources, V.46-#1, 691-717.

○ Kaplow (2007). “Discounting Dollars, Discounting Lives: Intergenerational Distributive Justice and Efficiency.” The University of Chicago Law Review, V.74-#1, 79-118.

○ Samida and Weisbach (2007). “Paretian Intergenerational Discounting.The University of Chicago Law Review, V.74-#1, 145-70.

○ Sunstein and Rowell (2007). “On Discounting Regulatory Benefits: Risk, Money, and Intergenerational Equity.” The University of Chicago Law Review, V.74-#1, 171-208.

○ Posner (2007). “Agencies Should Ignore Distant-Future Generations.” The University of Chicago Law Review, V.74-#1, 139-43.

○ Dasgupta (2008). “Discounting Climate Change.” Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, V.37-#2, 141-69.

○ Adler (2009). “Future Generations: A Prioritarian View.” George Washington Law Review, V.77-#5/6, 1478-520.

○ Broome (2012). “The Future Versus the Present,” in Chapter 8 in Broome Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World. New York: W. W. Norton, 133-55.

◊ Heal (2005). “Intertemporal Welfare Economics and the Environment,” Mäler and Vincent eds, Handbook of Environmental Economics. Elsevier, 1105-45.

◊ Hammond (1981). “Ex-Ante and Ex-Post Welfare Optimality under Uncertainty.” Economica, V.48-#191, 235-50.

○ Nordhaus (2011). “The Economics of Tail Events with an Application to Climate Change.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, V.5-#2, 240-57.

○ Weitzman (2011). “Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, V.5-#2, 275-92.

○ Stern (2013). “The Structure of Economic Modeling of the Potential Impacts of Climate Change: Grafting Gross Underestimation of Risk onto Already Narrow Science Models.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.51-#3, 838-59.

◊ Fleurbaey (2018). “Welfare Economics, Risk and Uncertainty.” Canadian Journal of Economics, V.51-#1, 5-40.

○ Broome (1985). “The Welfare Economics of the Future: A Review of Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit.” Social Choice and Welfare, V.2-#3, 221-34.

○ Kavka (1982). “The Paradox of Future Individuals.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.11-#2, 93-112.

○ Parfit (1982). “Future Generations: Further Problems.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.11-#2, 113-72.

◊ Broome (1996). “The Welfare Economics of Population.” Oxford Economic Papers, V.48-#2, 177-93.

◊ Blackorby, Bossert and Donaldson (2005). Population Issues in Social-Choice Theory, Welfare Economics and Ethics. New York: Cambride University Press.

○ Broome (2018). “Efficiency and Future Generations.” Economics and Philosophy, V.34-#2, 221-41.

○ Greaves (2017). “Population Axiology.” Philosophy Compass, V.12-#11, e12442.


  • Aggregation Nightmares: Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, etc.

■ Sen, Chapter 3, pp.82-87, Chapter A1, & Chapter 4 (optional).

■ Hausman, et al., Chapter 13

■ Feldman & Serrano, Chapter 13

■ Fleurbaey and Mongin (2005). “The News of the Death of Welfare Economics Is Greatly Exaggerated.” Social Choice and Welfare, V.25-#2-3, 381-418.

○ Igersheim (2019). “The Death of Welfare Economics: History of a Controversy.” History of Political Economy, V.51-#5, 827-65.

○ Pildes and Anderson (1990). “Slinging Arrows at Democracy: Social Choice Theory, Value Pluralism, and Democratic Politics.” Columbia Law Review, V.90-#8, 2121-2214.

○ Sen (1995). “Rationality and Social Choice”. American Economic Review; V.85-#1, pp. 1-24.

○ Sen (1999). “The Possibility of Social Choice”. American Economic Review; V.89-#3, pp. 349-378.

○ Arrow (2017). “Arrow’s Theorem,” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1-6.

○ Lützen (2019). “How Mathematical Impossibility Changed Welfare Economics: A History of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.” Historia Mathematica, V.46, 56-87.

○ Kelly (1988). Social Choice Theory: An Introduction. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

◊ Arrow (1963). Social Choice and Individual Values. New York: Wiley.

◊ Arrow (2012). “Introduction,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 1-8.

◊ Arrow (2012). “The General Possibility Theorem for Social Welfare Functions,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 46-60.

◊ Arrow (2012). “The Individualistic Assumptions,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 61-73.

◊ Arrow (2012). “Similarity as the Basis of Social Welfare Judgments,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 74-91.

◊ Arrow (2012). “Notes on the Theory of Social Choice, 1963,” in Social Choice and Individual Values. Yale University Press, 92-120.

◊ Sen, Chapter 3*, A1* and 4* (optional)

◊ Geanakoplos (2005). “Three Brief Proofs of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.” Economic Theory, V.26-#1, 211-15.

◊ Reny (2001). “Arrow’s Theorem and the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem: A Unified Approach.” Economics Letters, V.70-#1, 99-105.

◊ Campbell and Kelly (1997). “The Possibility-Impossibility Boundary in Social Choice,” in Arrow, Sen and Suzumura eds, Social Choice Re-Examined: Volume 1. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 179-204.

◊ Sen (1986). “Social Choice Theory,” in Handbook of Mathematical Economics. Elsevier, 1073-181.

◊ Maskin and Sen (2014). The Arrow Impossibility Theorem. New York: Columbia University Press.

◊ Suzumura and Xu (2004). “Welfarist-Consequentialism, Similarity of Attitudes, and Arrow’s General Impossibility Theorem.” Social Choice and Welfare, V.22-#1, 237-51.


Topic II. Responses to Foundational Problems

  • What if We Could Compare People?

■ Sen, Chapter 7

■ Sen (1979). “Interpersonal Comparisons of Welfare,” in Boskin ed Economics and Human Welfare. Academic Press, 183-201.

■ Cooter and Rappoport (1984). “Were the Ordinalists Wrong About Welfare Economics?” Journal of Economic Literature, V.22-#2, 507-30.

■ Scanlon (1991). “The Moral Basis of Interpersonal Comparisons,” in Elster and Roemer eds, Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 17-44.

■ Hammond (1993). “Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility: Why and How They Are and Should Be Made,” in Elster and Roemer eds, Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 255-320.

■ Adler (2014). “Extended Preferences and Interpersonal Comparisons: A New Account.” Economics and Philosophy, V.30-#2, 123-62.

○ Gibbard (1986). “Interpersonal Comparisons: Preference, Good, and the Instrinsic Reward of a Life,” in Elster and Hylland eds, Foundations of Social Choice Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 165-93.

○ Davidson (1986). “Judging Interpersonal Interests,” in Elster and Hylland eds, Foundations of Social Choice Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 195-211.

○ Blackorby, Donaldson and Weymark (1984). “Social Choice with Interpersonal Utility Comparisons: A Diagrammatic Introduction.” International Economic Review, V.25-#2, 327-56.

○ Harsanyi (1990). “Interpersonal Utility Comparisons,” in J. Eatwell, M. Milgate and P. Newman eds, Utility and Probability. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 128-33.

○ Sen (2011). “The Informational Basis of Social Choice” in Arrow, Sen and Suzumura eds, Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare. Elsevier, 29-46.

○ d’Aspremont, Claude (2016). “Interpersonal Utility Comparisons (New Developments),” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1-6.

◊ Sen, Chapter 7*

◊ Harsanyi (1955). “Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility.” Journal of Political Economy, V.63-#4, 309-21.

◊ Sen (1970). “Interpersonal Aggregation and Partial Comparability.” Econometrica, V.38-#3, 393-409. [A Correction]

◊ Fine (1975). “A Note on “Interpersonal Aggregation and Partial Comparability”.” Econometrica, V.43-#1, 169-72.

◊ Hammond (1976). “Equity, Arrow’s Conditions, and Rawls’ Difference Principle.” Econometrica, V.44-#4, 793-804.

◊ Hammond (1977). “Dual Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility and the Welfare Economics of Income Distribution.” Journal of Public Economics, V.7-#1, 51-71.

◊ d’Aspremont and Gevers (1977). “Equity and the Informational Basis of Collective Choice.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.44-#2, 199-209.

◊ Arrow (1977). “Extended Sympathy and the Possibility of Social Choice.” The American Economic Review, V.67-#1, 219-25.

◊ Sen (1977). “On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis.” Econometrica, V.45-#7, 1539-72.

◊ Strasnick (1979). “Extended Sympathy Comparisons and the Basis of Social Choice.” Theory and Decision, V.10-#1, 311.

◊ Gevers (1979). “On Interpersonal Comparability and Social Welfare Orderings.” Econometrica, V.47-#1, 75-89.

◊ Roberts (1980). “Possibility Theorems with Interpersonally Comparable Welfare Levels.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.47-#2, 409-20.

◊ Roberts (1980). “Interpersonal Comparability and Social Choice Theory.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.47-#2, 421-39.

◊ Blackorby, Donaldson and Weymark (1984). “Social Choice with Interpersonal Utility Comparisons: A Diagrammatic Introduction.” International Economic Review, V.25-#2, 327-56.

◊ Nagahisa and Suga (1998). “Impossibility Theorems with Interpersonally Comparable Welfare Levels: The “Extended Sympathy Approach” Reconsidered.” The Japanese Economic Review, V.49-#2, 171-90.

◊ Suzumura (1996). “Interpersonal Comparisons of the Extended Sympathy Type and the Possibility of Social Choice,” in K. J. Arrow, A. Sen and K. Suzumura eds, Social Choice Re-Examined: Volume 2. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 202-29.

◊ Fleurbaey (2003). “On the Informational Basis of Social Choice.” Social Choice and Welfare, V.21-#2, 347-84.

◊ Fleurbaey and Tadenuma (2014). “Universal Social Orderings: An Integrated Theory of Policy Evaluation, Inter-Society Comparisons, and Interpersonai Comparisons.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.81-#3 (288), 1071-101.

◊ d’Aspremont and Gevers (2002). “Social Welfare Functionals and Interpersonal Comparability,” in Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare. Elsevier, 459-541.

◊ Fleurbaey and Hammond (2004). “Interpersonally Comparable Utility,” in Barberà, Hammond and Seidl eds, Handbook of Utility Theory: Volume 2 Extensions. Boston, MA: Springer US, 1179-285.


  • What Might Fill the Hole?: Utilitiarianism

■ Hausman, et al., Chapters 7 & 8

■ Sen (1979). “Utilitarianism and Welfarism.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.76-#9, 463-89.

■ Riley (2016). “Utilitarianism and Economic Theory,” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1-15.

■ McClennen (2020). “Utility and Utilitarianism,” in Favor, Gaus and Lamont eds, Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 13-36.

○ Smart and Williams (1973). Utilitarianism: For and Against. Cambridge: University Press.

○ Mirlees (1982). “The Economic Uses of Utilitarianism,” in Sen and Williams eds, Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 63-84.

○ Hahn (1982). “On Some Difficulties of the Utilitarian Economist,” in Sen and Williams eds, Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 187-98.

○ Moore and Crisp (1996). “Welfarism in Moral Theory.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, V.74-#4, 598-613.

○ Rawls (1955). “Two Concepts of Rules.” The Philosophical Review, V.64-#1, 3-32.

○ Brandt (1963). “Toward a Credible Form of Utilitarianism,” in H.-N. Castaneda and G. Nakhnikian eds, Morality and the Language of Conduct. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 107-43.

○ Gibbard (1965). “Rule-Utilitarianism: Merely an Illusory Alternative?” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, V.43-#2, 211-20.

○ Sobel (1968). “Rule-Utilitarianism.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, V.46-#2, 146-65.

○ Hooker (1990). “Rule-Consequentialism.” Mind, V.99-#393, 67-77.

○ Arneson (2005). “Sophisticated Rule Consequentialism: Some Simple Objections.” Philosophical Issues, V.15, 235-51.

○ Riley (2008). “Rule Utilitarianism and Liberal Priorities,” in M. Fleurbaey, M. Salles and J. A. Weymark eds, Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 411-33.

○ Harsanyi (1977). “Morality and the Theory of Rational Behavior.” Social Research, V.44-#4, 623-56.

○ Harsanyi (1977). “Rule Utilitarianism and Decision Theory.” Erkenntnis (1975-), V.11-#1, 25-53.

◊ Weymark (1991). “A Reconsideration of the Harsanyi–Sen Debate on Utilitarianism,” in Elster and Roemer eds, Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 255-320.

◊ Weymark (1994). “Harsanyi’s Social Aggregation Theorem with Alternative Pareto Principles,” Eichhorn ed., Models and Measurement of Welfare and Inequality. Berlin: Springer, 869-87.

◊ Mongin and d’Aspermont (1998). “Utility Theory and Ethics”. In Barberà, Hammond, and Seidl, eds. Handbook of Utility Theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 371-481.


  • What Might Fill the Hole? Deontological Approaches

    • Some General Reflections on Deontology

■ Freeman (1994). “Utilitarianism, Deontology, and the Priority of Right.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.23-#4, 313-49.

■ Gaus (2001). “What Is Deontology? Part One: Orthodox Views.” Journal of Value Inquiry, V.35-#1, 27-42.

■ Gaus (2001). “What Is Deontology? Part Two: Reasons to Act.” Journal of Value Inquiry, V.35-#2, 179-193.

■ Kaplow and Shavell (2001). “Any Non-Welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle.” Journal of Political Economy, V.109-#2, 281-86.

○ Broome (1992). “Deontology and Economics.” Economics and Philosophy, V.8-#2, 269-82.

○ Sen (1967). “The Nature and Classes of Prescriptive Judgements.” The Philosophical Quarterly (1950-), V.17-#66, 46-62.

○ Etzioni (1987). “Toward a Kantian Socio-Economics.” Review of Social Economy, V.45-#1, 37-47.

○ Marino (2019). “Value Pluralism and the Foundations of Normative Law and Economics: The Case of Threshold Deontology,” in Cserne and Małecka eds, Law and Economics as Interdisciplinary Exchange. Routledge, 115-34.

○ Roemer (2010). “Kantian Equilibrium.” The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, V.112-#1, 1-24.

○ Roemer (2015). “Kantian Optimization: A Microfoundation for Cooperation.” Journal of Public Economics, V.127, 45-57.

○ Kymlicka (1988). “Rawls on Teleology and Deontology.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.17-#3, 173-90.

○ Sørensen (2008). “Deontology – Born and Kept in Servitude by Utilitarianism.” Danish Yearbook of Philosophy, V.43-#1, 69-95.

○ Ronzoni (2010). “Teleology, Deontology, and the Priority of the Right: On Some Unappreciated Distinctions.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, V.13-#4, 453-72.

○ Adler (2005). “Review of Fairness Versus Welfare by Kaplow & Shavell.” Ethics, V.115-#4, 824-28.

○ Coleman (2003). “The Grounds of Welfare.” The Yale Law Journal, V.112-#6, 1511-43.

◊ Fleurbaey, Tungodden and Chang (2003). “Any Non-Welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle: A Comment.” Journal of Political Economy, V.111-#6, 1382-85.

○ Fallon (2003). “Should We All Be Welfare Economists.” Michigan Law Review, V.101-#4, 979-1025.

○ Farber (2003). “What (If Anything) Can Economics Say About Equity.” Michigan Law Review, V.101-#6, 1791-823.

◊ Pattanaik and Suzumura (1994). “Rights, Welfarism, and Social Choice.” The American Economic Review, V.84-#2, 435-39.

◊ Suzumura and Xu (2001). “Characterizations of Consequentialism and Nonconsequentialism.” Journal of Economic Theory, V.101-#2, 423-36.

◊ Suzumura and Xu (2003). “Consequences, Opportunities, and Generalized Consequentialism and Non-Consequentialism.” Journal of Economic Theory, V.111-#2, 293-304.

    • Norms & Rules

○ Hausman, et al. Chapter 5, pp. 81-89.

○ Sunstein (1996). “Social Norms and Social Roles.” Columbia Law Review, V.96-#4, 903-68.

○ Posner, R. (1997). “Social Norms and the Law: An Economic Approach.” The American Economic Review, V.87-#2, 365-69.

○ Posner, E. (1997). “Standards, Rules, and Social Norms.” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, V.21-#1, 101-18.

○ Elster (1989). “Social Norms and Economic Theory.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.3-#4, 99-117.

○ Elster (1994). “Rationality, Emotions, and Social Norms.” Synthese, V.98-#1, 21-49.

○ Bicchieri (1990). “Norms of Cooperation.” Ethics, V.100-#4, 838-61.

○ Dubreuil and Grégoire (2013). “Are Moral Norms Distinct from Social Norms? A Critical Assessment of Jon Elster and Cristina Bicchieri.” Theory and Decision, V.75-#1, 137-52.

○ Henderson (2002). “Norms, Normative Principles, and Explanation: On Not Getting Is from Ought.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences, V.32-#3, 329-64.

○ Henderson (2012). “Norms,” in H. Kincaid ed The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Online: Oxford University Press.

○ Etzioni (2000). “Social Norms: Internalization, Persuasion, and History.” Law & Society Review, V.34-#1, 157-78.

○ Anderson (2000). “Beyond Homo Economicus: New Developments in Theories of Social Norms.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.29-#2, 170-200.

○ Fleetwood (2021). “Re-Visiting Rules and Norms.” Review of Social Economy, V.79-#4, 607-35.

○ Fourcade and Healy (2007). “Moral Views of Market Society.” Annual Review of Sociology, V.33-#1, 285-311.

○ Pettit (1990). “Virtus Normativa: Rational Choice Perspectives.” Ethics, V.100-#4, 725-55.

○ Margolis (1990). “Equilibrium Norms.” Ethics, V.100-#4, 821-37.

○ Frankfurt (1971). “Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.68-#1, 5-20.

○ Jeffrey (1974). “Preference among Preferences.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.71-#13, 377-91.

◊ Postlewaite (2011). “Social Norms and Preferences,” in Benhabib, Bisin and Jackson eds, Handbook of Social Economics. North-Holland, 31-67.

◊ Burke and Young (2011). “Social Norms,” in Benhabib, Bisin and Jackson eds, Handbook of Social Economics. North-Holland, 311-38.

    • Repugnant Goods/Trades: Are There Trades That Should Be Banned

○ Roth (2007). “Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.21-#3, 37-58.

○ Sandel (2013). “Market Reasoning as Moral Reasoning: Why Economists Should Re-Engage with Political Philosophy.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.27-#4, 121-40.

○ Ulen (2015). “Law and Economics, the Moral Limits of the Market, and Threshold Deontology,” in Hatzis and Mercuro eds, Law and Economics: Philosophical Issues and Fundamental Questions. New York: Routledge, 203-25.

○ Radin (1987). “Market-Inalienability.” Harvard Law Review, V.100-#8, 1849-937.

○ Satz (2003). “Child Labor: A Normative Perspective.” The World Bank Economic Review, V.17-#2, 297-309.

○ Bruni and Sugden (2013). “Reclaiming Virtue Ethics for Economics.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.27-#4, 141-63.

○ Satz (2010). Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets. New York: Oxford University Press.

○ Sandel (2012). What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

○ Besley (2013). “What’s the Good of the Market? An Essay on Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.51-#2, 478-95.

○ Zelizer (1979). Morals and Markets: The Development of Life Insurance in the United States. New York: Columbia University Press.

○ Zelizer (1985). Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children. New York: Basic Books.

○ Zelizer (2005). The Purchase of Intimacy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.


  • What Might Fill the Hole?: Fairness, Equality, etc.

■ Hausman, et al., Chapter 11

■ Sen, Chapter 9 and A3

■ Feldman & Serrano, Chapter 10

■ Ryan (2006). “Fairness and Philosophy.” Social Research, V.73-#2, 597-606.

■ Arneson (2018). “Four Conceptions of Equal Opportunity.” The Economic Journal, V.128-#612, F152-F73.

○ Rabin (1993). “Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics.” The American Economic Review, V.83-#5, 1281-302.

○ Williams (1962). “The Idea of Equality,” in Williams, Problems of the Self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 230-249.

○ Rawls (1958). “Justice as Fairness.” The Philosophical Review, V.67-#2, 164-94.

○ Rawls (1985). “Justice as Fairness: Political Not Metaphysical.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.14-#3, 223-51.

○ Nozick (1973). “Distributive Justice.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.3-#1, 45-126.

○ Varian (1975). “Distributive Justice, Welfare Economics, and the Theory of Fairness.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.4-#3, 223-47.

○ Sugden (1984). “Is Fairness Good? A Critique of Varian’s Theory of Fairness.” Noûs, V.18-#3, 505-11.

○ Tungodden, (2003). “The Value of Equality.” Economics and Philosophy, V.19-#1, 1-44.

○ McKerlie (2003). “Understanding Egalitarianism.” Economics and Philosophy, V.19-#1, 45-60.

○ Temkin (2003). “Equality, Priority or What?” Economics and Philosophy, V.19-#1, 61-87.

○ Scheffler (2003). “What Is Egalitarianism?” Philosophy and Public Affairs, V.31-#1, 5-39.

○ Dworkin (1981). “What Is Equality? Part 1: Equality of Welfare.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.10-#3, 185-246.

○ Dworkin (1981). “What Is Equality? Part 2: Equality of Resources.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.10-#4, 283-345.

○ Varian (1985). “Dworkin on Equality of Resources.” Economics and Philosophy, V.1-#1, 110-25.

○ Fleurbaey (2002). “Equality of Resources Revisited.” Ethics, V.113-#1, 82-105.

○ Cohen (1989). “On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice.” Ethics, V.99-#4, 906-44.

○ Parfit (1997). “Equality and Priority.” Ratio, V.10-#3, 202-21.

○ Fleurbaey (2015). “Equality Versus Priority: How Relevant Is the Distinction?” Economics and Philosophy, V.31-#2, 203-17.

○ Broome (2015). “Equality Versus Priority: A Useful Distinction.” Economics and Philosophy, V.31-#2, 219-28.

○ Hausman (2015). “Equality Versus Priority: A Misleading Distinction.” Economics and Philosophy, V.31-#2, 229-38.

○ Frankfurt (1987). “Equality as a Moral Ideal.” Ethics, V.98-#1, 21-43.

○ Frankfurt (2000). “The Moral Irrelevance of Equality.” Public Affairs Quarterly, V.14-#2, 87-103.

○ Sen (2006). “What Do We Want from a Theory of Justice?” The Journal of Philosophy, V.103-#5, 215-38.

○ Arneson (2013). “From Primary Goods to Capabilities to Well-Being.” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, V.16-#2, 179-95.

○ Kamm (2011). “Sen on Justice and Rights: A Review Essay.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.39-#1, 82-104.

○ Elster (2006). “Fairness and Norms.” Social Research, V.73-#2, 365-76.

○ Fleurbaey, Marc and François Maniquet (2008). “Utilitarianism Versus Fairness in Welfare Economics,” in Fleurbaey, Salles and Weymark eds, Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism: Themes from Harsanyi and Rawls. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 263-81.

○ Kaplow and Shavell (1999). “The Conflict between Notions of Fairness and the Pareto Principle.” American Law and Economics Review, V.1-#1/2, 63-77.

○ Craswell (2003). “Kaplow and Shavell on the Substance of Fairness.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.32-#1, 245-75.

○ Waldron (2003). “Locating Distribution.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.32-#1, 277-302.

○ Kornhauser (2003). “Preference, Well-Being, and Morality in Social Decisions.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.32-#1, 303-29.

○ Kaplow and Shavell (2003). “Fairness Versus Welfare: Notes on the Pareto Principle, Preferences, and Distributive Justice.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.32-#1, 331-62.

○ Singer (2002). “Something Important in Humanity.” Harvard Civl Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, V.37-#1, 103-30.

◊ Thomson (2011). “Fair Allocation Rules,” in Arrow, Sen and Suzumura eds, Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare. Elsevier, 393-506.

○ Corden (1997). “The Conservative Social Welfare Function”. section 5.3 of Trade Policy and Economic Welfare. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 72-76.

○ Deardorff (1987). “Safeguards and the Conservative Social Welfare Function,” in Kierzkowski ed. Protection and Competition in International Trade. Oxford: Blackwell, 22-40.


  • No Hole to Fill: Libertarianism

■ Hausman, et al., Chapter 10

■ Sen, Chapter 6 & A5

■ Berlin (2002). “Two Concepts of Liberty,” in Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 166-217.

■ Gaus (1994). “Property, Rights, and Freedom.” Social Philosophy and Policy, V.11-#2, 209-40.

■ Mack (1999). “In Defense of Individualism.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, V.2-#2, 87-115.

■ Arneson (2005). “The Shape of Lockean Rights: Fairness, Pareto, Moderation, and Consent.” Social Philosophy and Policy, V.22-#1, 255-85.

■ Pettit (2002). “Non-Consequentialism and Political Philosophy,” in D. Schmidtz ed Robert Nozick. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 83-104.

■ Sen (1983). “Liberty and Social Choice.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.80-#1, 5-28.

■ List (2004). “The Impossibility of a Paretian Republican? Some Comments on Pettit and Sen.” Economics and Philosophy, V.20-#1, 65-87.

○ Nozick (1974). Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.

○ Thaler and Sunstein (2003). “Libertarian Paternalism.” American Economic Review, V.93-#2, 175-79.

○ Sunstein and Thaler (2003). “Libertarian Paternalism Is Not an Oxymoron.” The University of Chicago Law Review, V.70-#4, 1159-202.

○ Bernheim and Rangel (2007). “Toward Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics.” The American Economic Review, V.97-#2, 464-70.

○ Hands (2020). “Libertarian Paternalism: Taking Econs Seriously.” International Review of Economics, V.67-#4, 419-41.

◊ Bernheim and Rangel (2009). “Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, V.124-#1, 51-104.

◊ Sen, Chapter 6* & A5*

◊ Sen (1970). “The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal.” Journal of Political Economy, V.78-#1, 152-57.

◊ Sen (1976). “Liberty, Unanimity and Rights.” Economica, V.43-#171, 217-45.

◊ Kelsey (1985). “The Liberal Paradox: A Generalisation.” Social Choice and Welfare, V.1-#4, 245-50.

◊ Kelsey (1988). “What Is Responsible for the ‘Paretian Epidemic’?” Social Choice and Welfare, V.5-#4, 303-06.

◊ Xu (1990). “The Libertarian Paradox: Some Further Observations.” Social Choice and Welfare, V.7-#4, 343-51.

◊ Suzumura (1991). “Alternative Approaches to Libertarian Rights in the Theory of Social Choice,” in Arrow ed. Issues in Contemporary Economics: Volume 1: Markets and Welfare. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 215-42.

◊ Vallentyne (1989). “How to Combine Pareto Optimality with Liberty Considerations.” Theory and Decision, V.27-#3, 217-40.

◊ Gaertner, Pattanaik and Suzumura (1992). “Individual Rights Revisited.” Economica, V.59-#234, 161-77.


  • What Might Justify Ethical Commitments?: Social Contracts

■ Hausman, et al., Chapter 12

■ Darwall, (2003). “Introduction,” in Darwall ed Contractarianism/Contractualism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1-8.

■ Scanlon (1982). “Contractualism and Utilitarianism,” in Sen and Williams eds, Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 103-28.

■ Gauthier (1991). “Why Contractarianism?,” in P. Vallentyne ed Contractarianism and Rational Choice: Essays on David Gauthier’s Morals by Agreement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 15-30.

■ Freeman (1990). “Reason and Agreement in Social Contract Views.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.19-#2, 122-57.

○ Rawls (1980). “Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.77-#9, 515-72.

○ Hampton (1980). “Contracts and Choices: Does Rawls Have a Social Contract Theory?” The Journal of Philosophy, V.77-#6, 315-38.

○ Freeman (1991). “Contractualism, Moral Motivation, and Practical Reason.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.88-#6, 281-303.

○ Pettit (2000). “Two Construals of Scanlon’s Contractualism.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.97-#3, 148-64.

○ Darwall (2006). “Contractualism, Root and Branch: A Review Essay.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.34-#2, 193-214.

○ Gauthier (1986). “Overview of a Theory”. Chapter 1 of Morals by Agreement. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.1-20.

○ Kavka (1987). “Review of Morals by Agreement.” Mind, V.96-#381, 117-21.

○ Harsanyi (1987). “Review of Morals by Agreement, by David Gauthier.” Economics and Philosophy, V.3-#2, 339-51.

○ Sugden and Weale (1979). “A Contractual Reformulation of Certain Aspects of Welfare Economics.” Economica, V.46-#182, 111-23.

○ Coleman (1985). “Market Contractarianism and the Unanimity Rule.” Social Philosophy and Policy, V.2-#2, 69-114.

○ Sugden (1990). “Contractarianism and Norms.” Ethics, V.100-#4, 768-86.

○ Binmore (1989). “Social Contract I: Harsanyi and Rawls.” The Economic Journal, V.99-#395, 84-102.

○ Binmore (2004). “Reciprocity and the Social Contract.” Politics, Philosophy & Economics, V.3-#1, 5-35.

○ Sugden (2001). “Ken Binmore’s Evolutionary Social Theory.” The Economic Journal, V.111-#469, F213-F43.

○ Schaefer (2021). “Rationality, Uncertainty, and Unanimity: An Epistemic Critique of Contractarianism.” Economics and Philosophy, V.37-#1, 82-117.


Topic III. Things We Can (Maybe) Do With Welfare Economics

    • Welfare Measurement

■ Hicks (1941). “The Rehabilitation of Consumers’ Surplus.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.8-#2, 108-16.

■ Harberger (1971). “Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.9-#3, 785-97.

■ Harberger (1978). “On the Use of Distributional Weights in Social Cost-Benefit Analysis.” Journal of Political Economy, V.86-#2, S87-S120.

■ Slesnick (1998). “Empirical Approaches to the Measurement of Welfare.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.36-#4, 2108-65.

○ Brent (1984). “Use of Distributional Weights in Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Survey of Schools.” Public Finance Quarterly, V.12-#2, 213-30.

○ Adler (2016). “Benefit–Cost Analysis and Distributional Weights: An Overview.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, V.10-#2, 264-85.

○ Layard (1980). “On the Use of Distributional Weights in Social Cost-Benefit Analysis.” Journal of Political Economy, V.88-#5, 1041-47.

○ Johansson-Stenman, Olof (2005). “Distributional Weights in Cost-Benefit Analysis: Should We Forget About Them?Land Economics, V.81-#3, 337-52.

○ Donaldson (1992). “On the Aggregation of Money Measures of Well-Being in Applied Welfare Economics.” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, V.17-#1, 88-102.

○ Silberberg (1972). “Duality and the Many Consumer’s Surpluses.” The American Economic Review, V.62-#5, 942-52.

○ Willig (1976). “Consumer’s Surplus without Apology.” The American Economic Review, V.66-#4, 589-97.

○ Smith and Banzhaf (2004). “A Diagrammatic Exposition of Weak Complementarity and the Willig Condition.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, V.86-#2, 455-66.

◊ Chipman and Moore (1980). “Compensating Variation, Consumer’s Surplus, and Welfare.” The American Economic Review, V.70-#5, 933-49.

◊ Hausman (1981). “Exact Consumer’s Surplus and Deadweight Loss.” The American Economic Review, V.71-#4, 662-76.

◊ Slivinski (1987). “The Normative Characterization of Aggregate Consumers’ Surplus Measures.” International Economic Review, V.28-#3, 559-81.

◊ Harris and Wildasin (1985). “An Alternative Approach to Aggregate Surplus Analysis.” Journal of Public Economics, V.26-#3, 289-302.

◊ Blackorby and Donaldson (1985). “Consumers’ Surpluses and Consistent Cost-Benefit Tests”. Social Choice and Welfare; V.1-#4, pp. 251-262.

◊ Blackorby and Donaldson (1990). “The Case Against the Use of the Sum of Compensating Variations in Cost-Benefit Analysis”. Canadian Journal of Economics; V.23-#3, pp. 471-494.

◊ Blackorby and Donaldson (1999). “Market Demand Curves and Dupuit-Marshall Consumers’ Surpluses: A General Equilibrium Analysis”. Mathematical Social Sciences; V37-#2, pp. 139-163.

◊ Blackorby (1999). “Partial-Equilibrium Welfare Analysis.” Journal of Public Economic Theory, V.1-#3, 359-74.

◊ Ahlheim (1998). “Measures of Economic Welfare”. In Barberà, Hammond, and Seidl, eds. Handbook of Utility Theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 483-568. [covers one person theory]


  • Law & Economics and the Coase Theorem: Do Markets Do It All?

    • The Coase Theorem

■ Coase (1960). “The Problem of Social Cost.” Journal of Law and Economics, V.3, 1-44.

■ Farrell (1987). “Information and the Coase Theorem.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.1-#2, 113-29.

■ Nelson (1995). “Fairness, Efficiency and Externalities.” Japan and the World Economy, V.7-#1, 85-103.

■ McKelvey and Page (1999). “Taking the Coase Theorem Seriously.” Economics and Philosophy, V.15-#02, 235-47.

○ Medema (2020). “The Coase Theorem at Sixty.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.58-#4, 1045-128.

○ Regan (1972). “The Problem of Social Cost Revisited.” The Journal of Law & Economics, V.15-#2, 427-37.

○ Cooter (1982). “The Cost of Coase.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.11-#1, 1-33.

○ Farber (1997). “Parody Lost/Pragmatism Regained: The Ironic History of the Coase Theorem.” Virginia Law Review, V.83-#2, 397-428.

○ Anderlini and Felli (2006). “Transaction Costs and the Robustness of the Coase Theorem.” The Economic Journal, V.116-#508, 223-45.

○ Halpin (2007). “Disproving the Coase Theorem?” Economics and Philosophy, V.23-#3, 321-41.

◊ Klibanoff and Morduch (1995). “Decentralization, Externalities, and Efficiency.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.62-#2, 223-47.

◊ Hurwicz (1995). “What Is the Coase Theorem?” Japan and the World Economy, V.7-#1, 49-74.

◊ Hurwicz (1999). “Revisiting Externalities”. Journal of Public Economics Theory; V.1-#2, pp. 225-245.

◊ Chipman (1998). “A Close Look to the Coase Theorem,” in J. M. Buchanan and B. Monissen eds, The Economists’ Vision: Essays in Modern Economic Perspectives. Frankfurt: Campus, 131-62.

◊ Chipman and Tian (2012). “Detrimental Externalities, Pollution Rights, and the ‘Coase Theorem’.” Economic Theory, V.49-#2, 309-27.

◊ McKelvey and Page (1999). “Taking the Coase Theorem Seriously.” Economics and Philosophy, V.15-#02, 235-47.

◊ McKelvey and Page (2002). “Status Quo Bias in Bargaining: An Extension of the Myerson–Satterthwaite Theorem with an Application to the Coase Theorem.” Journal of Economic Theory, V.107-#2, 336-55.

◊ Jackson and Wilkie (2005). “Endogenous Games and Mechanisms: Side Payments among Players.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.72-#2, 543-66.

◊ Ellingsen and Paltseva (2016). “Confining the Coase Theorem: Contracting, Ownership, and Free-Riding.” The Review of Economic Studies, V.83-#2 (295), 547-86.

  • Law and Economics

■ Posner (1979). “Utilitarianism, Economics, and Legal Theory.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.8-#1, 103-40.

■ Dworkin (1980). “Is Wealth a Value?” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.9-#2, 191-226.

○ Kronman (1980). “Wealth Maximization as a Normative Principle.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.9-#2, 227-42.

○ Posner (1980). “The Value of Wealth: A Comment on Dworkin and Kronman.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.9-#2, 243-52.

○ Hammond (1982). “The Economics of Justice and the Criterion of Wealth Maximization.” The Yale Law Journal, V.91-#7, 1493-507.

■ Coleman (1984). “Economics and the Law: A Critical Review of the Foundations of the Economic Approach to Law.” Ethics, V.94-#4, 649-79.

○ Calabresi (1991). “The Pointlessness of Pareto: Carrying Coase Further.” The Yale Law Journal, V.100-#5, 1211-37.

○ Hardin (1992). “The Morality of Law and Economics.” Law and Philosophy, V.11-#4, 331-84.

○ Markovits (1993). “A Constructive Critique of the Traditional Definition and Use of the Concept of the Effect of a Choice on Allocative (Economic) Efficiency: Why the Kaldor-Hicks Test, the Coase Theorem, and Virtually All Law-and-Economics Welfare Arguments Are Wrong.” University of Illinois Law Review, V.1993-#3, 485-534.

○ Nussbaum (1997). “Flawed Foundations: The Philosophical Critique of (a Particular Type of) Economics.” The University of Chicago Law Review, V.64-#4, 1197-214.

○ Hovenkamp (2000). “Knowledge About Welfare: Legal Realism and the Separation of Law and Economics.” Minnesota Law Review, V.84, 805-62.

○ Posner (1979). “The Ethical and Political Basis of the Efficiency Norm in Common Law Adjudication.” Hofstra Law Review, V.8-#3, 487-508.

○ Coleman (1979). “Efficiency, Utility, and Wealth Maximization.” Hofstra Law Review, V.8-#3, 509-52.

○ Keenan (1981). “Value Maximization and Welfare Theory.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.10-#2, 409-19.

○ Posner (1985). “Wealth Maximization Revisited.” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, V.2-#1, 85-106.

○ Hovenkamp (1992). “Rationality in Law and Economics.” George Washington Law Review, V.60-#2, 293-338.

○ Ellickson (1998). “Law and Economics Discovers Social Norms.” The Journal of Legal Studies, V.27-#S2, 537-52. [Posner comment]


  • Market Socialism: Can We Pick the Best Outcomes? (The 2nd Fundamental Theorem as Positive Economics)

■ Hayek (1945). “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” American Economic Review, V.35-#4, 519-30.

■ Hurwicz (1973). “The Design of Resource Allocation Mechanisms.” American Economic Review, V.63-#2, 1-30.

■ Roemer (1992). “The Morality and Efficiency of Market Socialism.” Ethics, V.102-#3, 448-64.

■ Stiglitz (1993). “Market Socialism and Neoclassical Economics,” in P. K. Bardhan and J. E. Roemer eds, Market Socialism: The Current Debate. New York: Oxford University Press, 21-41.

■ Makowski and Ostroy (1993). “General Equilibrium and Market Socialism: Clarifying the Logic of Competitive Markets,” in P. K. Bardhan and J. E. Roemer eds, Market Socialism: The Current Debate. New York: Oxford University Press, 69-88.

○ Bardhan and Roemer (1992). “Market Socialism: A Case for Rejuvenation.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.6-#3, 101-16.

○ Shleifer and Vishny (1994). “The Politics of Market Socialism.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.8-#2, 165-76.

○ Bardhan and Roemer (1994). “On the Workability of Market Socialism.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.8-#2, 177-81.

○ Zappia (1999). “The Economics of Information, Market Socialism and Hayek’s Legacy.” History of Economic Ideas, V.7-#1/2, 105-38.

◊ Lerner (1934). “Economic Theory and the Socialist Economy”. Review of Economic Studies; V.2-# , pp. 51-61.

◊ Lange (1936). “On the Economic Theory of Socialism: Part One.” The Review of Economic Studies, 4(1), 53-71.

◊ Lange (1937). “On the Economic Theory of Socialism: Part Two.” The Review of Economic Studies, 4(2), 123-42..

◊ Kornai (1993). “Market Socialism Revisited,” in P. K. Bardhan and J. E. Roemer eds, Market Socialism: The Current Debate. New York: Oxford University Press, 42-68.

◊ Stiglitz (1994). Whither Socialism? Cambridge: MIT Press.


  • Can We Use “Non-Welfare” Information? The Case of Capabilities and Opportunity

○ Sen (1985). “Well-Being, Agency and Freedom: The Dewey Lectures 1984.” The Journal of Philosophy, V.82-#4, 169-221.

○ Nussbaum (2003). “Capabilities as Fundamental Entitlements: Sen and Social Justice.” Feminist Economics, V.9-#2-3, 33-59.

○ Sugden (1993). “Welfare, Resources, and Capabilities: A Review of Inequality Reexamined by Amartya Sen.” Journal of Economic Literature, V.31-#4, 1947-62.

○ Sugden (2003). “Opportunity as a Space for Individuality: Its Value and the Impossibility of Measuring It.” Ethics, V.113-#4, 783-809.

○ Qizilbash (2011). “Sugden’s Critique of Sen’s Capability Approach and the Dangers of Libertarian Paternalism.” International Review of Economics, V.58-#1, 21-42.

○ Basu and Lòpez-Calva (2011). “Functionings and Capabilities,” in K. J. Arrow, A. Sen and K. Suzumura eds, Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare. Elsevier, 153-87.

○ Kaplow (2007). “Primary Goods, Capabilities,… Or Well-Being?” The Philosophical Review, V.116-#4, 603-32.

○ Qizilbash (2007). “Social Choice and Individual Capabilities.” Politics, Philosophy & Economics, V.6-#2, 169-92.

◊ Sen (1991). “Welfare, Preference and Freedom.” Journal of Econometrics, V.50-#1, 15-29.

◊ Pattanaik and Xu (1990). “On Ranking Opportunity Sets in Terms of Freedom of Choice.” Recherches Économiques de Louvain, V.56-#3/4, 383-90.

◊ Bossert, Pattanaik and Xu (1994). “Ranking Opportunity Sets: An Axiomatic Approach.” Journal of Economic Theory, V.63-#2, 326-45.

◊ Pattanaik and Xu (2000). “On Ranking Opportunity Sets in Economic Environments.” Journal of Economic Theory, V.93-#1, 48-71.

◊ Pattanaik and Xu (2000). “On Diversity and Freedom of Choice.” Mathematical Social Sciences, V.40-#2, 123-30.

◊ Foster (2011). “Freedom, Opportunity, and Well-Being,” in K. J. Arrow, A. K. Sen and K. Suzumura eds, Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare. Elsevier, 687-728.


  • Is the Fact/Value (Positive/Normative) Distinction Really Useful?

■ Archibald (1959). “Welfare Economics, Ethics, and Essentialism.” Economica, V.26-#104, 316-27.

■ Sen (1993). “Positional Objectivity.” Philosophy & Public Affairs, V.22-#2, 126-45.

■ Hands (2012). “The Positive-Normative Dichotomy and Economics,” in U. Mäki ed Handbook of the Philosophy of Science: Philosophy of Economics. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 219-39.

■ Dasgupta (2005). “What Do Economists Analyze and Why: Values or Facts?” Economics and Philosophy, V.21-#2, 221-78.

■ Putnam and Walsh (2007). “A Response to Dasgupta.” Economics and Philosophy, V.23-#3, 359-64.

■ Dasgupta (2007). “Reply to Putnam and Walsh.” Economics and Philosophy, V.23-#3, 365-72.

○ Su and Colander (2013). “A Failure to Communicate: The Fact-Value Divide and the Putnam-Dasgupta Debate.” Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, V.6-#2, 1-23.

○ Colander and Su (2015). “Making Sense of Economists’ Positive-Normative Distinction.” Journal of Economic Methodology, V.22-#2, 157-70.

■ Van Staveren (2007). “Beyond Utilitarianism and Deontology: Ethics in Economics.” Review of Political Economy, V.19-#1, 21-35.

○ Putnam (2002). The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

○ Putnam and Walsh (2012). The End of Value-Free Economics. London ; New York: Routledge.