Can economics rank slavery against free labor in terms of efficiency?

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (3):327-340 (2008)
The standard allocative efficiency criteria used by economists (Pareto efficiency and Kaldor-Hicks efficiency) are fundamentally unable to rank a slave-labor system against a free-labor system. Given either set of initial property rights assignments the market can reach (or fail to reach) allocative efficiency (that is, allocate resources to their highest-valued uses), but welfare economics provides no meta-framework for ranking initial assignments. This finding underscores the limits to the usefulness of efficiency criteria: they cannot settle all questions, and unfortunately are least decisive just where the stakes are greatest (namely, where wealth effects of alternative assignments are greatest). Explicitly ethical criteria are needed to make the ranking. Key Words: Pareto efficiency • Kaldor-Hicks efficiency • property rights • welfare economics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/1470594X08092106
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

12 ( #208,024 of 1,727,148 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #354,178 of 1,727,148 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.