When economists wrestle with issues such as unemployment, inflation, or budget deficits, they do so by incorporating an impersonal, detached mode of reasoning. But economists also analyze issues that, to others, typically do not fall within the realm of economic reasoning, such as organ transplants, cigarette addiction, overeating, and product safety. Trade-Offs is an introduction to the economic approach to analyzing these controversial public policy issues.
Harold Winter provides readers with the analytical tools needed to identify and understand the trade-offs associated with these topics. By considering both the costs and benefits of potential policy solutions, Winter stresses that real-world decision making is best served by an explicit recognition of as many trade-offs as possible. This new edition incorporates recent developments in policy debates, including the rise of “new paternalism,” or policies designed to protect people from themselves; alternative ways to increase the supply of organs available for transplant; and economic approaches to controlling infectious disease.
Intellectually stimulating yet accessible and entertaining, Trade-Offs will be appreciated by students of economics, public policy, health administration, political science, and law, as well as by anyone who follows current social policy debates.