Welfarism is a form of consequentialism. Like all forms of consequentialism, welfarism is based on the premise that actions, policies, and/or rules should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences. Welfarism is the view that the morally significant consequences are impacts on human welfare. There are many different understandings of human welfare, but the term "welfarism" is usually associated with the economic conception of welfare. Economists usually think of individual welfare in terms of utility functions. Social welfare can be conceived as an aggregation of individual utilities. Welfarism can be contrasted to other consequentialist theories, such as utilitarianism.
Welfarist views have been especially influential in the law and economicsmovement. Steven Shavell and Louis Kaplow have argued in an influential book, Fairness versus Welfare that welfare should be the exclusive criteria by which legal analysts evaluate legal policy choices.
In politics, welfarism is the policy of a welfare state.
Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell, Fairness versus Welfare (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press 2002) ISBN 0-674-00622-4..
- Social welfare
Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell, Principles of Fairness versus Human Welfare: On the Evaluation of Legal Policy (Social Science Research Network, Working Paper, 2002)
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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfarism Wikipedia article Welfarism.