Measuring Welfare of Productive Consumers
In the last few decades an increasing number of economists have contributed to new methods of welfare (or utility) measurement. As set out in this journal (Tinbergen, 1985) three groups of economists have been active in this field since 1968, initially relatively independently; an American, a British and a Dutch group, of which the leading economists were Dale W. Jorgenson (Harvard), George W. McKenzie (Cambridge, UK) and Bernard M.S. van Praag (Erasmus). Additional imaginative contributions have been made since by several other economists, mentioned in my 1985 note. 1 In that same note I mentioned a lacuna in the Anglo-Saxon method: it considers utility derived from consumption but not utility (positive or negative) from work or from risk taking. The empirical research by the Dutch group implies all sources of satisfaction (in this article a third word for utility). The present article is an attempt to fill part of the lacuna stated, but simplified to the extreme, with the intention to clarify the essence of the additional aspect. Among the simplifications one must be mentioned in advance: the model submitted is static. This may be a disadvantage to some (or many) readers; and it may be avoided. Some remarks about a dynamic model will be made. Since the static version already introduces a number of new concepts the present author tentatively starts with the static version.