Economics and Philosophy


The Metric of Opportunity

Robert Sudgena1

a1 University of East Angila

There is a long tradition in economics of evaluating social arrangements by the extent to which individuals' preferences are satisfied. This is the tradition of welfarism, which has developed from nineteenth-century utilitarianism. Increasingly, however, the presumption that preference-satisfaction is the appropriate standard for evaluating social arrangements is being challenged by an alternative view: that we should focus on the set of opportunities open to each individual.