By S. K. Nath (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Perspective of Welfare Economics
Once the existence of foreign trade is recognised, the 55 necessary condition for Pareto optimality becomes: the common for all individuals' rate of subjective substitution between any two goods must equal their rate of transformation through foreign trade; or, more simply, the domestic price of a good must equal its world price (assuming that the world market is perfectly competitive). As for the social optimum - which mayor may not be a Paretian optimum, depending on the value judgements of the people concerned - the necessary condition is still that the social marginal benefit of any good must equal its social marginal cost which may be equal to its world price or may not if there are some special reasons of, for example, the infant industry nature.
This rule, in the context of allocation over time, can be translated into the following: total national investment - and investment in any particular line - should be undertaken up to the point where the 'appropriately' calculated marginal productivity of investment is just equal to a 'suitable' rate of interest. Y other reasons making social valuations different from the private, and so on, then the mal ket, when in equilibrium, would bring about the necessary conditions for 52 social optimality over time.
Hence the marginal rate of subjective substitution between any two goods will not equal their ratio of marginal costs, or their marginal rate of transformation. Similarly direct taxes and subsidies generate a difference between the price paid and the price received for the services 38 of a factor of production. Hence direct taxes and subsidies also violate the necessary conditions for Paretian optimality. A redistributive economic policy cannot easily be a oncefor-all measure. It could be if it took the form of say a oncefor-all redistribution of wealth.
A Perspective of Welfare Economics by S. K. Nath (auth.)