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Justice and the American Metropolis$
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Clarissa Rile Hayward and Todd Swanstrom

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816676125

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816676125.001.0001

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Beyond the Equality–Efficiency Tradeoff

Beyond the Equality–Efficiency Tradeoff

Chapter:
(p.125) 5 Beyond the Equality–Efficiency Tradeoff
Source:
Justice and the American Metropolis
Author(s):

Clarence N. Stone

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816676125.003.0006

This chapter argues that urban policy is often framed as an either–or choice between efficiency and equality. The purported dichotomy between growth and redistribution is embedded in the assumption that policies should be evaluated with reference to their immediate effects on the interests of isolated individuals. It proposes that urban policy be judged according to its long-term, wide-ranging effects. The chapter also illustrates case studies of three successful social investment programs, which shows that investing in youth can promote efficiency while redressing significant inequities. Social investment refers to programs for youths and children, ranging from prenatal care and early childhood education to after-school and youth-development programs. Social investment is in itself a form of trade-off, one between the benefits of consumption now versus potential gain in the future.

Keywords:   urban policy, efficiency, equality, growth, social investment, youths, children, education, trade-off

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