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We re-examine Pigou’s ethics in welfare economics with respect to welfarist or non-welfarist (more broadly, utilitarian or non-utilitarian) concepts based on various perspectives, such as incommensurability among utility and people, basic need information approach, non-welfarist justification of the national minimum, and methodological individualism in axiology. Consequently, we could detect certain non-welfarist approaches in his welfare economics, which squarely challenges the orthodox understanding of his works. We can assert that the deviation from simple welfarism was a result of practical considerations. Furthermore, apart from the dichotomy about welfarist and non-welfarist viewpoints, we present novel assessments of Pigou’s welfare notion: a hybrid strategy for the enhancement of people’s well-being. We show that his overall welfare idea involves both subjective and objective accounts and has a three-layered welfare strategy: bare and raw preferences turn into educated and refined ones via objective needs.
The IMF addressed fossil fuel subsidies along two strands, both recently increasing in importance. The first strand focused on the lack of a carbon price and on solving this problem from the perspective of neoclassical economics, the second on countries which had had fiscal problems exacerbated by fossil fuel subsidies, and which were induced to reform these subsidies. The IMF’s institutional worldview based on neoclassical economics was the key factor shaping its approach. The second strand had considerable influence on fossil fuel subsidy reform in countries under IMF programs such as Indonesia, whereas the first strand had an impact on the public debate in countries including the UK and Denmark.
Though economists typically eschewed non-welfarist arguments in the post-WWII period, there is at least one prominent instance in which such arguments were very much in play, both directly and as underpinnings for welfare-related arguments: The debate over the Coase theorem. This debate saw the Coase theorem regularly challenged on both welfarist (efficiency) and non-welfarist grounds. This then raises the question of what it was about the Coase theorem that led economists into this non-welfarist territory. This essay revisits the early debates over the Coase theorem, where non-welfarist arguments featured prominently, in order to bring out the nature of those arguments and attempt to understand the rationale(s) for their deployment. As we shall see, this move was a function of forces internal and external to economics, including the environmental turn in society and the profession, a concern with issues of fairness and equity in the evaluation of how to resolve externality problems, and a view, prominent in certain quarters, that the environment and environmental preservation is an end in itself.
This book covers the fundamental principles of environmental law; how they can be reframed from a rational actor perspective. The tools of law and economics can be brought to bear on policy questions within environmental law. The approach taken in this book is to build on the existing consensus in international environmental law and to provide it with new analytical tools to improve the design of legal rules and to enable prospective modelling of the effects of rules in pre-implementation stages of evaluation and deliberation. The Pigouvian idea of environmental injuries as economic externalities. The core idea of Pigou’s model is that manufacturing costs that are excluded from the decision-making process will inherently not be reflected in the decision making of producers, and thus, manufacturing costs will be incorrectly perceived as lower than they actually are. The key is to ensure better decision making and to prevent environmental injuries by ‘internalising’ the cost externalities. Rational actors, forced to bear the costs of the injuries resulting from their production activities, will set optimal levels of production inclusive of minimising the costs of pollution injuries via reducing the incidence of those pollution injuries
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