Beginner’s Guide to Understand Welfare Economics

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Welfare Economics

Isn’t it fascinating to study Economies, their growth, processes, and every other nuance pertaining to it? Economics is not just a science but a way of understanding the world, its functions, and its survival. Without the study of economies, the world would come to a standstill with no understanding of how industries work, people are employed, and the vital processes of demand and supply. Considered the ‘Queen of Social Sciences’, it gives an understanding of an economy at an individual level along with at the society level. One such major concept covered in the broad horizon of the study of economics is welfare economics. A concept having its foundation in the utility theory of microeconomics, it is a crucial aspect as it deals with the effect of economic theories on society as a whole. This blog is an attempt to understand and get acquainted with the various facets of welfare economics, its scope, and the courses offered in it.

What is Welfare Economics?

Welfare Economics is a branch of economics that primarily deals with the effects of economic theories on the well-being of the community. Established much later as a separate branch of economics, it focuses on the structure of the market and its functioning to understand the allocation of resources and ensure everyone has access to it. It comparatively studies multifarious aspects of economics like the costs of products, their consequences on the population and tries to reach a balance that will benefit every individual of the society. This segment of economics works on assumptions and ideal conditions and includes important ideals of philosophy and ethics.

Must Read: Business Economics

Who is the Father of Welfare Economics? 

Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) ignited the concept and thought of welfare economics. He defined economics as the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life. Marshall was an English economist and a leading economist of his day. He is the leading economic textbook in England for many years, Principles of Economics (1890). He was a pioneer in neoclassical economics who tried to redefine the field of study in economics via his welfare definition of economics. This definition extends economics to a wider humanity study. In particular, Marshall believes that economics analyses all the measures people take to promote economic prosperity. In Marshall’s words, “you obtain money to get material well-being.” Others have regarded his comment as the “definition of welfare” in economics. This concept extended the scope of economic research by stressing simultaneously the study of wealth and humanity, instead of only wealth. 

Famous Theories of Welfare Economics

1) Pareto Optimality

2) Kaldor-Hicks Compensation Criterion

3) Scitovsky Double Criterion

4) Social Welfare Function of Bergson and Samuelsson

5) Amartya Sen’s View on Social Welfare


It is an interdisciplinary subject that combines economics with philosophy and society. A new notion, its applicability has increased over the years with people emphasizing an equitable economy with everyone sharing a part in the well-being offered by various policies. The use of this field of study is ever-expanding but enlisted below are some of its major applications. 

  • It helps in reaching  a balance when allocating resources allowing no group gets an unfair advantage
  • It provides tools that guide public policies and results in well thought out policies
  • It is used by economists when deriving out long term plans at the national level as it ensures well-balanced plans
  • The main objective is to increase consumer and supplier surplus, therefore, its understanding is ideal to help in the progress of the economy
  • It emphasizes on maximum utility, therefore, it can be used to reach a state of maximum satisfaction

Must Read: Career in Financial Economics

Courses and Universities for Welfare Economics

Welfare Economics is encompassed in the majority of the economics degree. A separate specialization in welfare Economics is often not offered but students pursuing economics can decide to conduct their research or thesis specifically in the field of it. Choosing the right course and university can be a cumbersome task that can be disconcerting at the same time. Tabulated below are some of the economics courses covering in its modules welfare Economics at different levels of education with their universities:

University  Location  Programs offered
University of Southampton UK BA in Economics and Philosophy
University of Suffolk UK BA(H) Politics and Economics
Bangor University UK BA in Social Policy and Economics
Bard College Berlin Germany BA in Economics, Politics and Social Thought
University Institute of Lisbon Portugal BA in Sociology and Economics
University of London UK MSc in Behavioral Economics
Rey Juan Carlos University Spain Master’s in Modern Economic Analysis
University of Oviedo Spain Master’s in Sectoral Economics Studies
University of Economics, Prague Czech Republic Master’s in Economics and Public Policy
University of Groningen Netherlands MSc in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
University of Birmingham UK Health Economics and Health Policy – MSc
University of Glasgow UK Economics, Banking and Finance – MSc
The University of Central Lancashire UK MA Social Policy 
Australian National University Australia  Masters in Applied Welfare Economics
University of Oxford UK MSc in Economics for Development
Kalkine Media

Reference Books

 Given below are some of the best books that can be considered to learn more about welfare economics:

Books Links
Natives Click Here to Buy!
Economic Dignity  Click Here to Buy!
Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor Click Here to Buy!

Career Scope

Pursuing a degree in Welfare Economics opens up a world of possibilities. Studying a Welfare Economics course opens up a number of job profiles that a person can wish to work on. Choosing the right career is essential to lead a happy and successful life and therefore should be chosen after a lot of deliberation and contemplation. Enlisted below are a number of profiles that a person can work on after completing a course in an associated field of this study

  • Policymaker
  • Statistician
  • Administrator
  • Economist
  • Strategist
  • Professor


Who is the father of welfare economics?

Arthur Cecil Pigou succeeded Prof. Alfred Marshall as the father of welfare economics.

What is the objective of welfare economics?

Using methodologies such as cost-benefit analysis and social welfare functions, welfare economics attempts to analyze the costs and benefits of economic changes and direct public policy toward enhancing the total good of society.

Who gave welfare definition of economics?

Alfred Marshall, a pioneer of neoclassical economics, attempted to redefine his field of study with the welfare concept of economics. This concept broadened the scope of economic research by stressing the study of wealth and mankind as a whole, rather than just money.

Is Welfare good for the economy?

Yes, welfare is good and beneficial for any economy or the society as a whole as it helps to reduce poverty and raise income (primarily through increases in earnings) in poor families. 

How do you explain welfare?

Welfare is a term that refers to a variety of government programs that give financial or other assistance to individuals or groups that are unable to sustain themselves.

What is the importance of welfare?

While the welfare state has been crucial in decreasing socioeconomic disparities and shielding individuals from various types of suffering (such as unemployment and illness), it has also shown to be an essential accelerator for economic growth.

We hope this blog has given a comprehensive and in-depth idea about Welfare Economics. Do you see yourself working as a policymaker and wish to achieve this dream by pursuing a course in Welfare Economics from one of the top universities in the world? Leverage Edu is here to help. Its experts will help you through the admission process and evaluate your application to bring forth your qualities. Register today for a free meeting and get ready to impact the world with your revolutionary ideas!

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