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Ethics, Economics, and PoliticsPrinciples of Public Policy$
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I. M. D. Little

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199257043.001.0001

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Personal Utility and Welfare

Personal Utility and Welfare

(p.3) 1 Personal Utility and Welfare
Ethics, Economics, and Politics

Ian Malcolm David Little

Oxford University Press

The economist's concept of utility is based on choice. If economic man chooses A rather than B, he is deemed to get more utility with A and to be better off, having reached a preferred position. Choosing between uncertain outcomes permits expected utility to be measured cardinally. Risk and equality are related. Utility theory is the cornerstone of normative economics, providing a criterion of better‐offness.

Keywords:   better‐offness, choice, equality, preference, risk, utility

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