When government programs create inequities: A guide to compensation policies

Joseph J. Cordes*, Burton A. Weisbrod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


When the government institutes a program thought to be useful for society as a whole, such as building a highway or controlling air pollution, those that benefit from such programs are usually quite different from those that bear its costs. Sometimes the government responds by postponing or modifying the program, sometimes by compensating those that are bearing an inequitable share of the costs. By using familiar economic concepts, the analyst can more effectively choose between the two approaches. Applying those concepts to the case of highway construction in California, we conclude that in this instance cash compensation is clearly superior to postponement as the policy of choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-195
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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