Theoretical Welfare Economics

Theoretical Welfare Economics

Theoretical Welfare Economics

Theoretical Welfare Economics

Excerpt

A fairly complete account of the formal theory of welfare economics will be found in the chapters that follow. I have striven to make the body of the text intelligible to non-mathematical readers, but occasional bits of symbolism seem somehow to have crept in. All sustained mathematical argument, however, is carefully segregated in appendices, which can be omitted without great loss. They deal chiefly with elementary maximization problems, and are likely to earn the scorn of both the professional mathematician and the workaday economist. The appendices follow the chapters to which they refer (Chapters II-IV and IX). A note on terminology follows this Preface.

My debt to the literature is far larger than the occasional footnote references to specific sources might seem to imply, but generally it is too diffused to enable me to make more detailed acknowledgement. I must, however, record here the extent to which I have drawn inspiration from the published work of Professor Paul A. Samuelson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His remarkable theoretical insight has spared me much labour.

The many friends who have advised me on particular points are too numerous to mention individually; but some have given so generously of their time that I cannot simply include them in an omnibus acknowledgement. I recall with considerable pleasure a number of long conversations with Dr Lawrence R. Klein when, in the summer of 1948, he was visiting the Department of Applied Economics in Cambridge. Over the period of the next twelve months I benefited greatly from frequent discussions with Professor William J. Baumol of Princeton University, who was then working on similar problems at the London School of Economics. And in Cambridge itself I have had the constant help and advice of Professor R. F. Kahn, who has been responsible for the removal of countless errors from a first draft I ungraciously imposed upon him. For nearly two years he has read with singular . . .

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