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Welfare economics is the branch of economics that studies how individuals and societies exchange goods and the properties of the resulting outcomes. As such, it is concerned with the well-being of individuals and societies. Analyzing exchange and outcome is done through various means, including if the process needs to incorporate rights and duties for participants and whether or not outcomes are seen to be equitable or just.

The broad scope of the subject and the difficulties in defining concepts such as well-being and judging equity causes welfare economics to cut across several disciplines, including history, philosophy, political science, and sociology. Consequently, there is a long and rich literature associated with the topics. Moral philosophers, from Aristotle, the Scholastics, Hobbes, Nozick, and Rawls, have also focused on ...

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