Does the term "social welfare" have any negative connotation in economics?

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When speaking about social welfare in economics, they are referring to the allocation of resources and imperfect markets, NOT the social welfare of Medicaid, food stamps etc. Is this assumption right?


Social welfare maximization in economics typically refers to the correct allocation of scare resources to agents (firms, individuals) so as to generate the maximum possible utility (or other criterion) for the agents. The term has no negative connotation as is often the case with a "welfare program" such as SNAP.

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Last updated on June 19, 2018