Chris's Reviews > Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff

Equality and Efficiency by Arthur M. Okun
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's review
Mar 02, 08

bookshelves: political-science-and-international
Recommended for: Policy wonks
Read in January, 2008

I have to say, the word "big" strikes me as just a little bit juvenile in a context like, say, the subtitle of a "serious" book. It's like if Huntington had subtitled "Clash of Civilizations" something like "how cultural differences lead to big wars." But maybe it's just me.

A pretty good primer on the tradeoffs between equity and efficiency and government policy. It's not especially theoretical, but I'm sure policy types would enjoy it a little more. Kind of basic though. If you're interested in development policy, start with Sen's "Development As Freedom."

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John Moyle It's just you. If the subtitle said "A Big Tradeoff" you would have a point well taken. But it says "The Big Tradeoff", and Okun was too careful with his words not to have intended the difference. Equality vs Efficiency was then and even more so today is the most significant point of contention in economic discussions.

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