Welfare, Planning, and Employment
Abram Bergson has been making significant contributions to economic theory since the 1930s, and this selection of fifteen of his most influential essays exhibits in large part the breadth of his range. The book's primary focus, however, is on those aspects of economic theory to which he has given sustained attention over the whole course of his career: welfare and socialist economics.
Part I, Social Welfare and the Economic Optimum, presents the author's seminal early article on the concept of social welfare and two additional essays on the relation of social choice theory to welfare economics and on the import of taste differences for optimal income distribution.
In Part II, Problems of Measurement, the critique of Frisch's methods of marginal utility measurement that has become a classic is followed by three essays on consumer's surplus analysis, including the frequently cited paper on monopoly welfare losses. A final paper elaborates for factor productivity calculation the index number theory that was developed by Moorsteen and the author for output measurement.
In Part III, Public Enterprise and Socialist Economics, two surveys of the theory of socialist economics that are standard references in the field are followed by an essay on the politics of socialist efficiency and by two studies of public enterprise, one on optimal pricing and the other on managerial riskbearing.
Finally, Part IV, Prices, Income, and Employment, consists of two papers that represent an early effort to integrate macro- and microeconomics, a matter that has since become of wide interest.
About the Author
Abram Bergson has taught at Harvard University since 1956; he is now George F. Baker Professor of Economics.