Module Reading List
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue
It is assumed that students already understand consumer theory and the theory of the firm, as covered by an intermediate micro-economics text such as H R Varian: Intermediate microeconomics : a modern approach (5th Ed., Norton 1999). However, some of this material will be revised during the module, and students faced with concepts they do not understand are advised to return to the relevant chapter of Varian or a similar text.
In the following outline of the lectures, chapter references are to:
Varian, relevant chapters.
Per-Olov Johansson: An introduction to modern welfare economics (Cambridge University Press, 1991)
D.W. Pearce and C.A. Nash: The social appraisal of projects : a text in cost-benefit analysis (MacMillan, 1981)
Anthony E. Boardman et al: Cost-benefit analysis : concepts and practice. (Prentice-Hall, 1996).
Also very good but more advanced are:
Y.K. Ng: Welfare economics : introduction and development of basic concepts (MacMillan, 1979)
R.W. Boadway and Neil Bruce: Welfare economics (Basil Blackwell, 1984).
John Creedy: General equilibrium and welfare. (Edward Elgar, 1996)
Whilst at the easier end of the spectrum are:
P. Bohm: Social efficiency : a concise introduction to welfare economics (MacMillan, 2nd Edition, 1987)
C.V. Brown and P.M. Jackson: Public sector economics (Martin Robertson, 4th Edition, 1991)
D.W. Pearce: Cost-benefit analysis (MacMillan, 2nd Edition, 1983).
Amongst the older classics, the most useful are likely to be:
J. de V. Graaff: Theoretical welfare economics. (Cambridge University Press, 1967)
I.M.D. Little: A Critique of Welfare Economics (2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 1957).
Specifically on externalities and public goods, an alternative view to the standard economic approach is in:
John Bowers: Sustainability and environmental economics : an alternative text. (Longman, 1997) Ch. 3-6, 10-12.
On the application of welfare economics to pricing issues, the best references are still:
M. Webb: Pricing policies for public enterprises. (MacMillian, 1976)
R. Rees: Public enterprise economics (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1976).
For the current British government stance on project appraisal see:
H.M. Treasury: Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government (HMSO 2003) - parts were updated in 2011. This may be found at:
and for development projects, an alternative with many brief case studies is:
Overseas Development Administration: Appraisal of projects in developing countries : a guide for economists. (HMSO, 1988).
Specifically on project appraisal in developing countries, a useful introduction is:
E.V.K. Fitzgerald: Public sector investment planning for developing countries (MacMillan, 1978).
S. Curry and J. Weiss: Project analysis in developing countries (St Martin's Press, 1993) esp. Ch. 4-7 on Shadow Prices.
At a more advanced level, the two seminal works on the application of the techniques to developing countries are the `Guidelines':
United Nations International Development Office: Guidelines for project evaluation. (United Nations, 1972)
and the rather more difficult, but more widely used approach of Little-Mirlees:
I.M.D. Little and J.A. Mirlees: Manual of industrial project analysis in developing countries (OECD. 1968).
On environmental externalities, discount rates and sustainability see:
D W Pearce: Blueprint for a green economy (Earsthscan Books, 1989).
D W Pearce and R Kerry Turner: Economics of natural resources and the environment (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990).
It will be adequate for successful completion of the module to master the key texts. However, students looking for excellent results should read more widely from the above references and also dip into the key journal articles identified in them.
This list was last updated on 23/01/2014