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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(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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