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Price index dispersion and utilitarian social evaluation

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  • Muller, Christophe

Abstract

The living standard indicator in utilitarian social evaluation functions (USEF) is the ratio of a nominal living standard and a price index. We show that under weak association of price indices and nominal living standards and usual concavity conditions on utility functions, utilitarian social welfare increases with price index dispersion when the aggregate price level is superior to the arithmetic mean of price indices, and diminishes when it is inferior to the harmonic mean.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 89 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 141-146

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:89:y:2005:i:2:p:141-146

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  1. Roberts, Kevin, 1980. "Price-independent welfare prescriptions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 277-297, June.
  2. Muller, Christophe, 2002. "Prices and living standards: evidence for Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 187-203, June.
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  13. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Romer, David & Williams, Steve, 1981. "Risk Aversion with Random Initial Wealth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 911-20, June.
  14. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
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  17. Ebert,Udo, 1988. "Consumer`s welfare and price uncertainity," Discussion Paper Serie A 168, University of Bonn, Germany.
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