Professor Matthew Adler publishes new book

January 31, 2020
Matthew Adler's 'Measuring Social Welfare: An Introduction'

Matthew Adler, the Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy, has written a new book, Measuring Social Welfare: An Introduction, which examines the theoretical underpinnings of two social welfare function measures, utilitarianism and prioritarianism.  The first, utilitarianism, originated with the 18th century philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham, and advocates policy choices that would satisfy the preferences of the greatest number of people. The second, prioritarianism, is a refinement to utilitarianism that gives extra weight - priority - to the worse off.  Through a detailed case-study of fatality risk regulation, Adler's book, illustrates how both operate and how their outcomes compare to cost-benefit analysis.