Neo-classical Economist Alfred Marshal had defined the welfare definition in 1890 A.D. He was a scholar of British and professor at Cambridge University.
He published the famous book ‘Principles of Economics’ and defined economics as a science of material welfare.
According to Alfred Marshal, Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of human life. It is the subject matter of Economics. It is one side study of wealth and the other the most important part is the study of wealth.
Alfred Marshal shifted the definition aspect. No doubt, he said wealth is important in human life but he considered that we should give primary importance to mankind and secondary importance to wealth. He suggests that wealth that we must use wealth for the better of mankind.
Many Neo-classical Economists like A.C. Pigou, Edwin Cannan, William Beveridge, etc. support this definition.
Features/Characteristics of Welfare Definition:-
- Primary importance to mankind:-
According to Marshall, Economics is the study of mankind in the relation to wealth. It gives primary emphasis on mankind that we should use wealth for the benefit of mankind.
2. Study of ordinary human beings:-
In the view of Alfred Marshall, Economics is the study of those human beings who are not only involving in accumulating more and more wealth but also try to feel love, sympathy, respect, honor, etc to make their daily life meaningful and happy.
3. Study of material welfare:-
Alfred Marshall has focused on material welfare which is the satisfaction of consumers from the consumption of basic goods or luxury goods. He claimed that non-material welfare is not the subject matter of Economics.
4. Social science:-
This definition studies only about those human beings who live in society. It excludes isolated people like saints, beggars, etc.
Criticisms of Welfare Definition:-
- Classificatory in nature:-
In the view of critics, this definition classified human activities into material and non-material welfare, ordinary and other business without specific differences between them.
2. Narrow or limited scope:-
The critics said that Marshall was unable to include also non-material activities that can fulfill human desires and needs that come under the subject matter of Economics.
3. It excludes human science:-
According to critics, this definition ignored those people who live far away from society; economics should include all people whether they live in the society of not.
4. Lack of a clear concept of welfare:-
In the view of critics, welfare is different from time, place, and circumstances. All welfares don’t promote human welfare.
Principle of Economics of Grade 11
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