Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Efficiency: Economic efficiency is the optimal allocation of resources to produce the greatest possible output. It is a state where resources are used in a way that maximizes the satisfaction of human wants and needs.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

John Rawls on Efficiency - Dictionary of Arguments

I 67
Efficiency/efficiency principle/Rawls: this is about the fact that the distribution of goods cannot be changed at a certain point in time without making certain people worse off. An efficient configuration does not imply an absolute equal distribution.
I 68
It does not already assume a concrete distribution, but rather an area of possible forms of distribution, which are all efficient in the sense that only a deviation from this is detrimental to some members of the community.
Within a range of optimal shapes, no shape is superior to the actual unequal distribution of another shape. The different characteristics are not comparable in this sense.
I 69
Rawls: Within the concept of justice as fairness, fairness principles precede the principle of efficiency.
I 70
An efficient situation is one in which no one wants to trade with someone else and no one has anything more to trade for others. However, this allows several forms of possible distributions.
The efficiency principle can be applied to the basic structure (a community) if it is applied to the[assumed] expectations of representative members(1).
Applied to the basic structure of rights and obligations, it can be said that a structure is efficient if a change would have a negative impact on the expectations of at least one person. Here again, various efficient arrangements are possible. These, in turn, are not all equally just. Therefore, the efficiency principle alone cannot ensure fairness.
>Rights, >Duties.
Markets/Rawls: income and wealth will be efficiently distributed within a standard competitive market.

1. See J. M. Buchanan „The Relevance of Pareto Optimality“, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 6, 1962 – J. M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, The Calculus of Consent, Ann Arbor, 1962.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Rawl I
J. Rawls
A Theory of Justice: Original Edition Oxford 2005

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