Consumer Sovereignty and Human Interests

Overview

This book, published in 1986, addresses questions concerned with a central normative principle in contemporary assessments of economic policies and systems. What does 'consumer sovereignty' mean? Is consumer sovereignty an appropriate principle for the optimization and evaluation of the design and performance of economic policies, institutions and systems? If not, what is a more appropriate principle? The author argues that the conception of consumer sovereignty has to be broadened so that it is not limited to ...

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Overview

This book, published in 1986, addresses questions concerned with a central normative principle in contemporary assessments of economic policies and systems. What does 'consumer sovereignty' mean? Is consumer sovereignty an appropriate principle for the optimization and evaluation of the design and performance of economic policies, institutions and systems? If not, what is a more appropriate principle? The author argues that the conception of consumer sovereignty has to be broadened so that it is not limited to the market mechanism but includes environmental, work and social preferences. However, even this version runs into serious difficulties as the principle of consumer sovereignty still relies on too subjectivist a conception of the interests of individuals to be suitable for the evaluation of economic institutions. An alternative basis for such evaluation is 'human interests' that are not contingent on particular economic systems, After considering various possibilities, a basic-needs approach is proposed and its use in economic evaluation illustrated.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521070911
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. Consumer sovereignty: 2. The interest conception of consumer sovereignty; Part II. The range of wants: 3. Consumer sovereignty and private-want satisfaction; 4. Social wants, normative concerns, and interests; Part III. The quality of wants: 5. Limits to individual rationality; 6. The development of preferences and the evaluation circularity; Part IV. Measuring want satisfaction: 7. The comparability problem of the want-satisfaction principle; Part V. Human interests and deprivation: 8. Objective conceptions of human interests; 9. Deprivation under market competition and other coordination mechanisms: an illustrative evaluation.

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