一般而言，经济效率是指对社会最佳的市场结果。在福利经济学的背景下，经济有效的结果是最大化市场为社会创造的经济价值的大小。在经济有效的市场结果中，没有可用的帕累托改进，并且结果满足所谓的卡尔多 – 希克斯标准。更具体地说，经济效率是在讨论生产时通常用于微观经济学的术语。当以尽可能低的成本生产该单位货物时，生产单位货物被认为是经济有效的。 Parkin和Bade的经济学对经济效率和技术效率之间的差异进行了有用的介绍：效率有两个概念：技术效率发生在不增加投入而无法增加产出的情况下。当生产给定产出的成本尽可能低时，就会出现经济效率。技术效率是一个工程问题。鉴于技术上可行，可以或不可以做某些事情。经济效率取决于生产要素的价格。技术上有效的东西可能在经济上不高效。但是经济有效的东西总是技术上有效的。 要理解的一个关键点是，“当生产给定产出的成本尽可能低时，经济效率就会出现”。这里有一个隐藏的假设，那就是所有其他条件相同的假设。在降低生产成本的同时降低商品质量的变化不会提高经济效率。只有当生产的产品质量不变时，经济效率的概念才有意义。
In general, economic efficiency refers to the best market outcome for society. In the context of welfare economics, the result of economic efficiency is to maximize the economic value created by the market for society. In a cost-effective market outcome, there is no Pareto improvement available and the results meet the so-called Caldo-Hicks standard. More specifically, economic efficiency is a term commonly used in microeconomics when discussing production. When the unit of goods is produced at the lowest possible cost, the production unit goods are considered to be cost effective. Parkin and Bade’s economics provide a useful introduction to the difference between economic efficiency and technical efficiency: efficiency has two concepts: technical efficiency occurs without increasing input and not increasing output. Economic efficiency occurs when the cost of producing a given output is as low as possible. Technical efficiency is an engineering issue. Given the technical feasibility, some things may or may not be done. Economic efficiency depends on the price of the factors of production. Technically effective things may not be economically efficient. But something that is cost effective is always technically effective. A key point to understand is that “economic efficiency will arise when the cost of producing a given output is as low as possible”. There is a hidden hypothesis here, that is, all other assumptions with the same conditions. Reducing the cost of goods while reducing production costs does not increase economic efficiency. The concept of economic efficiency makes sense only when the quality of the products produced is constant.