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1 Local Warehouse Economics- General

Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff

by

Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this revised and expanded version of the Godkin Lectures presented at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University in the early seventies, Arthur M. Okun explores the conflicts that arise when society's desire to reduce inequality impairs economic efficiency, confronting policymakers with " the big tradeoff."

Synopsis:

Okun explores the conflicts that arise when society's desire to reduce inequality would impair economic efficiency, confronting policymakers with "the big trade-off".

Synopsis:

Contemporary American society has the look of a split-level structure. Its political and social institutions distribute rights and privileges universally and proclaim the equality of all citizens. Yet economic institutions, with efficiency as their guiding principle, create disparities among citizens in living standards and material welfare. This mixture of equal rights and unequal economic status breeds tensions between the political principles of democracy and the economic principles of capitalism. Whenever the wealthy try for extra helpings of supposedly equal rights, and whenever the workings of the market deny anyone a minimum standard of living, " dollars transgress on rights" --in the author's phrase. In this revised and expanded version of the Godkin Lectures presented at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University in April 1974, Arthur M. Okun explores the conflicts that arise when society's desire to reduce inequality would impair economic efficiency, confronting policymakers with " the big tradeoff." Other economic systems have attempted to solve this problem; but the best of socialist experiments have achieved a greater degree of equality than our mixed capitalist democracy only at heavy costs in efficiency, and dictatorial governments have reached heights of efficiency only by rigidly repressing their citizenry. In contrast, our basic system emerges as a viable, if uneasy, compromise in which the market has its place and democratic institutions keep it in check. But within the existing system there are ways to gain more of one good thing at a lower cost in terms of the other. In Okun's view, society's concern for human dignity can be directed atreducing the economic deprivation that stains the record of American democracy--through progressive taxation, transfer payments, job programs, broadening equality of opportunity, eliminating racial and sexual discrimination, and lowering barriers to access to capital.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780815764755
Author:
Okun, Arthur M.
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Author:
Okun, Arthur M.
Location:
Washington :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Economics - Theory
Subject:
Comparative economics
Subject:
Equality
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Igualdad
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
157
Publication Date:
19750531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
124
Dimensions:
8.52x5.48x.39 in. .36 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Accounting and Finance
Business » General
Business » Management
History and Social Science » Economics » General
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History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff Used Trade Paper
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Product details 124 pages Brookings Institution Press - English 9780815764755 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Okun explores the conflicts that arise when society's desire to reduce inequality would impair economic efficiency, confronting policymakers with "the big trade-off".
"Synopsis" by , Contemporary American society has the look of a split-level structure. Its political and social institutions distribute rights and privileges universally and proclaim the equality of all citizens. Yet economic institutions, with efficiency as their guiding principle, create disparities among citizens in living standards and material welfare. This mixture of equal rights and unequal economic status breeds tensions between the political principles of democracy and the economic principles of capitalism. Whenever the wealthy try for extra helpings of supposedly equal rights, and whenever the workings of the market deny anyone a minimum standard of living, " dollars transgress on rights" --in the author's phrase. In this revised and expanded version of the Godkin Lectures presented at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University in April 1974, Arthur M. Okun explores the conflicts that arise when society's desire to reduce inequality would impair economic efficiency, confronting policymakers with " the big tradeoff." Other economic systems have attempted to solve this problem; but the best of socialist experiments have achieved a greater degree of equality than our mixed capitalist democracy only at heavy costs in efficiency, and dictatorial governments have reached heights of efficiency only by rigidly repressing their citizenry. In contrast, our basic system emerges as a viable, if uneasy, compromise in which the market has its place and democratic institutions keep it in check. But within the existing system there are ways to gain more of one good thing at a lower cost in terms of the other. In Okun's view, society's concern for human dignity can be directed atreducing the economic deprivation that stains the record of American democracy--through progressive taxation, transfer payments, job programs, broadening equality of opportunity, eliminating racial and sexual discrimination, and lowering barriers to access to capital.
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