Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff [Arthur M Okun] on *FREE * shipping on qualifying offers. Book by Arthur M Okun. Equality and Efficiency has ratings and 9 reviews. Sagar said: Okun clarifies the issues surrounding the tradeoff between equality and efficiency, ra. Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff. By Arthur M. Okun. (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, Pp. $) – Volume 71 Issue 2 – Aaron.
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Return to Book Page. Preview — Equality and Efficiency by Arthur M. The Big Tradeoff by Arthur M. 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 an Contemporary American society has the look of a split-level structure.
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. Okun explores the conflicts that arise when society’s desire to reduce inequality would impair economic efficiency, confronting policymakers with “the big tradeoff.
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 at reducing 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. Paperbackpages. Published May 1st by Brookings Institution Press.
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Be the first to ask a question about Equality and Efficiency. Lists with This Book. Dec 23, Sagar Jethani rated it liked it Shelves: Okun clarifies the issues surrounding the tradeoff between equality and efficiency, rather than taking a firm position on the issue of how much society should exchange one for the other.
Was rather hoping for a more spirited point-of-view than this highly-academic elucidation of the issue. Reading this will illustrate just how extreme the Republican party has moved since the book’s original publication in the mid’s.
Still relevant after all these years.
Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff
Sep 08, Christopher rated it it was amazing. This book was originally written in the mid’s but could just as easily been written yesterday. Fascinating to read in light of recent political and economic developments. Dec 04, Zahwil rated it really liked it. Great book – extremely well written. All about the boundary between the market and the public sphere. Which transactions should be excluded from markets, such as basic freedoms the right to survivalvotes, etc.
We do not want society to turn into a giant “vending machine” where anything and everything is for sale.
Okun is a champion for equality, differing from his many conservative colleagues in the economics profession such as Milton Friedmen. At the same time, the efficiencies of the marke Great book – extremely well written. At the same time, the efficiencies of the market as an allocative mechanism are not lost on Okun; hence the title of his book.
With regards to efficiency, the concept he invokes of the “leaky bucket” is both useful and memorable as a tool for thinking about redistribution from the rich to the poor. The leaks represent both the cost of administering a system of redistribution and, more importantly, the dulling of the incentives that people face knowing a greater share of their income will be subject to taxation.
Perhaps the reason I best liked this book is the bridge it creates between often disparate fields of economics and moral philosophy. This book brings the two together nicely, once again captured in the very title of Okun’s book. Okun makes several policy recommendations, of which my favorite is a broadening of the tax base, to destroy loopholes that were never intended by legislators such as the use of trusts to skip a generation of estate taxesand disposing of the preferential lower rates afforded to capital gains and dividends which Okun reminds us are disproportionately earned by the affluent.
Very interesting book, written back in the s, and still relevant. While this was written 40 years ago, the challenges between equality and efficiency is one that continues to bedevil us, and has recently returned to to forefront of discussion. Considering this, I think that this book is definitely worth revisiting especially considering the very pragmatic way that Okun approaches the subject. I really liked the way that Okun presented the issue of having to balance social good with economic Very interesting book, written back in the s, and still relevant.
I really liked the way that Okun presented the issue of having to balance social good with economic efficiency. I found his frank discussion appealing, especially with how objective he tried to be showing both the pros and cons of different decisions that each society must make, as well as his own preference of where he would have liked society to have come to.
Mar 02, Chris rated it liked it Recommends it for: I have to say, the word “big” strikes me as just a little bit juvenile in a context like, say, the subtitle of a “serious” book. It’s like if Huntington had subtitled “Clash of Civilizations” something like “how cultural differences lead to big wars. A pretty good primer on the tradeoffs between equity and efficiency and government policy.
It’s not especially theoretical, but I’m sure policy types would enjoy it a little more. Kind of basic though. If you’re interested in I have to say, the word “big” strikes me as just a little bit juvenile in a context like, say, the subtitle of a “serious” book.
If you’re interested in development policy, start with Sen’s “Development As Freedom. I just re-read this after 25 years. Rather than the simple and overly reductive memory I had equaljty the foil that the title has become, I anc the book to be thoughtful, nuanced, more modern than I efficieny or we have progressed less than I had thoughtand it actually affected my thinking somewhat.
Brookings did a service by reissuing it, including the excellent introduction by Larry Summers. Dec 24, Hanna rated it it was amazing.
A must-read for everyone interested in social sciences.
Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff – Arthur M. Okun – Google Books
Extremely well-written and to the point on balancing equality and efficiency to reach whatever flavor of policy you prefer. May 11, Brendan Cheney rated it liked it Shelves: A good theoretical exercise, but the numbers are by now way out of date. The existance of a trade-off between equality and efficiency should be a much bigger part of the debate in economics. John rated it really liked it May 23, Nora Jane rated it it was amazing Mar 28, Scott rated it it was amazing Jul 11, Louis rated it liked it Sep 08, David Robertus rated it it was amazing Feb 04, Tom Bice rated it liked it Sep 08, Luke rated it it was amazing Sep 17, M rated it it was amazing Aug 19, Sonia rated it it was amazing Jul 19, Nell rated it really liked it Feb 13, Minh rated it really liked it Nov 10, Brent rated it really liked it Dec 20, Mehmet Ali Bayar rated it it was amazing Jan 27, Casey Tuttle rated it really liked it Mar 22, Jerrodm rated it it was amazing Jun 18, Matthew Coates rated it liked it Sep 19, Toffano rated it really liked it Apr 22, Matt rated it really liked it May 03, David James rated it really liked it Feb 23, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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