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An Efficiency Approach to the Evaluation of Policy Changes

Stephen Coate
The Economic Journal
Vol. 110, No. 463 (Apr., 2000), pp. 437-455
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Royal Economic Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2566242
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Efficiency Approach to the Evaluation of Policy Changes
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Abstract

This paper describes an efficiency approach to the evaluation of policy changes. Rather than comparing the utility allocations that arise before and after a policy change is introduced, this approach evaluates a policy change by comparing it with other possible changes which might be made from the status quo. The main merit of the approach is that it is founded on the Pareto criterion rather than on a distributional value judgement. The paper provides a precise statement of the approach and applies it to a number of examples. Some objections to the approach are also anticipated and discussed.

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