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Pareto efficiency, also referred to as allocative efficiency, occurs when resources are so allocated that it is not possible to make anyone better off without making someone else worse off.

When referring to a situation as Pareto efficient, it is usually assumed that products are being produced in the most efficient (least-cost) way. Pareto optimality is sometimes used interchangeably with Pareto efficiency. Sometimes Pareto optimality is reserved for cases when both production and allocative efficiency are obtained.

Source Publication:
Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law, compiled by R. S. Khemani and D. M. Shapiro, commissioned by the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, 1993.


Statistical Theme: Financial statistics

Created on Thursday, January 3, 2002

Last updated on Monday, March 10, 2003