Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Jürgen Backhaus"

Titel: The Pareto Principle and Policy Analysis. A Response to Warren Samuels, "The Pareto Principle: Another View" (ANALYSE & KRITIK 1/81)
Autor: Jürgen Backhaus
Seite: 237-246

Abstract: Warren Samuels has suggested that the Pareto Principle, when being used in policy analysis, is (1) limited, (2) selective, and (3) displays a conservative bias. In contrast to this view, in this note it is argued that the Pareto Principle is much less limited than was initially perceived (e. g. by Pareto himself) or is generally believed to be the case, that it tends to emphasize inclusiveness instead of selectivity, and that it is more likely to have an innovative instead of a conservative bias.

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Titel: The Pareto Principle: Another View. Comment on Jürgen Backhaus: The Pareto Principle (ANALYSE & KRITIK 2/80)
Autor: Warren J. Samuels
Seite: 124-134

Abstract: The Pareto principle is in fact the fundamental concept of welfare economics. However, it has serious analytical and heuristic limits, is selective and conservative in nature and use, and is heavily normative notwithstanding the pretensions by advocates of its positive character.

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Titel: The Pareto Principle
Autor: Jürgen Backhaus
Seite: 146-171

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is a discussion of the meaning and relevance of the Pareto principle in economics. To begin with, the principle is briefly retraced in Pareto's own writings. Its contemporary meaning was, however, developed in the context of the "New Welfare Economics". While Pareto technically employed the principle in order to describe an equilibrium situation, Kaldor and Hicks developed it somewhat differently as a yardstick for economic policy formulation. Sometimes, the principle is also discussed as a decision rule, and in this context some critics - though not the present author - believe it to have a conservative bias. Finally, recent discussions center around the incompatibility of the Pareto principle and "liberal" values. This conflict might be of limited relevance, only, due to a misconstrued formalism.

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