By S. K. Nath (auth.)
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Additional resources for A Perspective of Welfare Economics
7 ALLOCATION OVER TIME The basic rule for the social optimum over time is simple enough; the social marginal cost of an investment must equal its social marginal benefit. This rule, in the context of allocation over time, can be translated into the following: total national investment - and investment in any particular line - should be undertaken up to the point where the 'appropriately' calculated marginal productivity of investment is just equal to a 'suitable' rate of interest. Y other reasons making social valuations different from the private, and so on, then the mal ket, when in equilibrium, would bring about the necessary conditions for 52 social optimality over time.
That it will be ugly or noisy). The answers to these two alternative 'referenda' then may be considered to set lower and upper limits to the amounts consumers are willing to pay. Bohm  has suggested that, therefore, a reasonably sure way of finding the true amounts that consumers are willing to pay for a public good might be for the government to declare in the first place that they do not yet know how the provision of a public good would be financed. Faced with the uncertainty of whether the charge on them would be proportional to their willingness to payor there would be no direct charge, the consumers might reveal their true preferences.
60 However, a satisfactory marriage is not possible between compensation criteria and a judgement about distributive justice. Compensation criteria are based on the implicit ethical judgement that if some economic policy can 'in principle' make at least one group better off without making any other group worse off, then that economic policy should be considered desirable even though in practice some group is actually made worse off - even when the losers may be poorer than the gainers. In other words compensation criteria are neutral about what happens to distributive equality.
A Perspective of Welfare Economics by S. K. Nath (auth.)