Halstead comments on Economics, prioritisation, and pro-rich bias   - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Halstead 03 January 2018 12:14:27PM 0 points [-]

Thanks, yes I agree with all of that. My post was a critique of one argument for market prices, not an argument against market prices.

Comment author: ThomasSittler 03 January 2018 02:27:38PM 1 point [-]

I think there's some misunderstanding going on. The argument you critique is: "In a market, goods go to those with the highest willingness to pay. Hence the resulting allocation is socially optimal (according to some social welfare function)". I don't think anyone in economics makes that argument. The only claim is that allocations that result from a market are Pareto efficient (under some strong assumptions, which I'm sure you're familiar with. See the first fundamental theorem of welfare economics). Again, the real question is: if not markets, then what?

Comment author: Halstead 03 January 2018 02:48:56PM *  0 points [-]

but people in economics do make the argument that charging prices such that supply and demand are in equilibrium improves allocative efficiency.

Comment author: ThomasSittler 03 January 2018 02:58:54PM 0 points [-]

Relative to what?

Comment author: Halstead 03 January 2018 03:19:04PM 0 points [-]

relative to charging prices where demand is in excess of supply

Comment author: ThomasSittler 08 January 2018 12:25:07PM 0 points [-]

for the reasons i explained above, i think many economists believe this is true (in many situations). But they don't use the argument you attribute to them to do so.