By I. M. D. Little
First released in 1950, this publication was once all for the exposition, feedback, and appreciation of the speculation of financial welfare because it have been constructed to that date. Now reissued, Little has further a brand new retrospective preface during which he assesses the contribution the publication made within the mild of next literature within the region.
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Extra resources for A Critique of Welfare Economics
V. The diagram is not inconsistent with transitivity of choice as can be seen by considering the points A, B, and C; for their positions are consistent with them being chosen FIG. 2 But on the ordinary indifference curve analysis, this case is ruled out, for both A and B would be indifferent to C, and hence, since transitivity of indifference is assumed, to each other. But that A and B should be indifferent contradicts the axiom that a larger set is preferred to a smaller. 1 It should be noted that, in the case of concave curves, a budget line may touch both a higher and a lower behaviour line without crossing either in the neighbourhood of the points of contact.
Strictly one ought also to regard all the concepts used as abstract or uninterpreted. 'The consumer' should not be taken to refer to any consumer. One must not beg the question whether the system can reasonably be held to have anything to do with real consumers and real satisfactions at all. After this digression into logic we can now state quite shortly THE A N A L Y S I S OF C O N S U M E R S ' B E H A V I O U R 21 the advance which the indifference-curve analysis might be supposed to have made.
124, where he states: 'The basic assumption now is that the consumer distributes his expenditure on the two goods according to a definite "scale of preferences". ' In this context 'preferable' and 'indifferent' cannot be supposed to be meant as uhinterpreted symbols, and 'preferable' can thus only mean 'more satisfactory', and 'indifferent' mean 'equally satisfactory'. For this reason I have used the word 'satisfaction' more freely than most authors care to do in this context. THE A N A L Y S I S OF C O N S U M E R S ' B E H A V I O U R 17 individual, that they do cut.