Why Economic Efficiency Is Not Enough

R.H. Tawney, Why Economic Efficiency Is Not Enough

British economic historian R. H. Tawney

British economic historian R. H. Tawney argues that economic efficiency cannot be the only criteria of judgment for the well being of society. Undoubtedly, every “sane and vigorous society” needs efficiency and those who deny this are but “incorrigible sentimentalists.”

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However, the noted scholar wrote that “to convert efficiency from an instrument to a primary object is to destroy efficiency itself. For the condition of effective action in a complex civilization is cooperation. And the condition of cooperation is agreement, both as to the ends to which effort should be applied, and the criteria by which its success is to be judged.” (R. H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1926, p. 283)


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