By S. K. Nath (auth.)
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Another practical suggestion is that, faced with the wide- 42 spread divergence of marginal social costs and marginal social benefits, the policy-makers should conceptually divide the economy into sectors within which substitution and/or complementary relationships are important but between which such relationships are considered to be weak enough to be ignored. nsuring roughly uniform divergences (if divergences cannot be removed) between substitutes but compensating divergences between complementary goods.
But whereas with an ordinary good its marginal social cost equals its separate marginal social benefit to each person (all of which are equal in the social optimum), with a public good the social optimum requires that its marginal social cost be equal to the sum of its marginal social benefits to each person. g. no band-wagon effects - can be thought of as a horizontal summation of the individual demand curves. For Paretian optimality, the necessary condition regarding a public good is that its marginal social cost (as judged by the individuals themselves) should equal the sum of its marginal benefits to each individual, as judged by the individuals' themselves.
This is the important argument for protecting infant industries in the less developed countries. Needless to say, there is always a danger of protection becoming self-perpetuating for some industries. Once the existence of foreign trade is recognised, the 55 necessary condition for Pareto optimality becomes: the common for all individuals' rate of subjective substitution between any two goods must equal their rate of transformation through foreign trade; or, more simply, the domestic price of a good must equal its world price (assuming that the world market is perfectly competitive).
A Perspective of Welfare Economics by S. K. Nath (auth.)