The origins of this book lie in the study of solutions to security of electricity supply. The need for a sure foundation for the economics of this led me to studies of the economics of fixed and variable costs, and of peak load and capacity pricing, published as predecessors of this book. On studying the history and the contemporary commentary and proposed political, geopolitical, and technical solutions following loss-of-supply events, I found a reasonably coherent development of thought. However, in the economic literature I encountered a problematic inconsistency in the use of the basic machinery of utility, welfare, and surplus, giving rise to inconsistent conclusions. On examining these further it was obvious that this was no negligence on the part of the authors but the result of different selections from the array of functions available, which have associations to standpoints that may not be immediately apparent.


Social Welfare Function Contemporary Commentary Public Choice Theory Problematic Inconsistency Inconsistent Conclusion 
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  1. 1.
    The term is from Kahneman (2013), “The Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy,” in Shafir, The Behavioral Foundations. In this book we use the colloquial term “behavioral economics.”Google Scholar

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© Chris Harris 2015

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