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Equal Value Of Life And The Pareto Principle

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  • Hasman, Andreas
  • sterdal, Lars Peter
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    Abstract

    A principle claiming equal entitlement to continued life has been strongly defended in the literature as a fundamental social value. We refer to this principle as equal value of life . In this paper we argue that there is a general incompatibility between the equal value of life principle and the weak Pareto principle and provide proof of this under mild structural assumptions. Moreover we demonstrate that a weaker, age-dependent version of the equal value of life principle is also incompatible with the weak Pareto principle. However, both principles can be satisfied if transitivity of social preference is relaxed to quasi-transitivity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 01 (April)
    Pages: 19-33

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:20:y:2004:i:01:p:19-33_00

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    Cited by:
    1. Stefan Mann, 2007. "Comparing Interpersonal Comparisons in Utility Theory and Happiness Research," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 29-42, January.
    2. Osterdal, Lars Peter, 2005. "Axioms for health care resource allocation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 679-702, July.
    3. Lars Ă˜sterdal, 2009. "The lack of theoretical support for using person trade-offs in QALY-type models," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 429-436, October.

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