Discussion Document – Economic Reasoning and Social Policy

Economic Reasoning and Social Policy
Mukul Asher, Councillor at the Takshashila Institution

Based on a keynote address to 12th East Asian Social Policy (EASP) Conference, 
 “Social Policy and Governance in East Asia” in Singapore, July 30-31, 2015.

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There is growing consensus that in the 21st century, broad based economic growth with social harmony would be difficult to pursue without progress in social development. This paper focuses on how incorporating economic reasoning in social policy analysis and discussions could assist in improving design, implementation, and assessment of social programs and schemes. Such incorporation could contribute to be>er societal outcomes and effectiveness of social policies. The paper provides three inter-related frameworks, for thinking about household welfare, for generating fiscal space, and for diagnosing overall economic growth, or for sector specific constraints, which could be applied to specific contexts of social policy. Their application could assist in pursuing social policies in a more systemic and integrated manner, with requisite understanding of the trade-­offs involved in social policy choices.

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This discussion document can be cited as: Mukul Asher, “Economic Reasoning and Social Policy”, Takshashila Discussion Document, 2015-01. (2015) www.takshashila.org.in/1534524506254

Also available on SSRN.