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Social Choice and Just Institutions: New Perspectives

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Author Info

  • Marc Fleurbaey

    (Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld University)

Abstract

It has become accepted that social choice is impossible in absence of interpersonal comparisons of well-being. This view is challenged here. Arrow obtained an impossibility theorem only by making unreasonable demands on social choice functions. With reasonable requirements, one can get very attractive possibilities and derive social preferences on the basis of non-comparable individual preferences. This new approach makes it possible to design optimal second-best institutions inspired by principles of fairness, while traditionally the analysis of optimal second-best institutions was thought to require interpersonal comparisons of well-being. In particular, this new approach turns out to be especially suitable for the application of recent philosophical theories of justice formulated in terms of fairness, such as equality of resources.

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File URL: http://www.imw.uni-bielefeld.de/papers/files/imw-wp-333.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2002
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics in its series Working Papers with number 333.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:333

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Related research

Keywords: social welfare; social choice; fairness; egalitarian-equivalence;

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Cited by:
  1. Fabien Candau & Marc Fleurbaey, 2011. "Agglomeration and Welfare with Heterogeneous Preferences," Open Economies Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 685-708, September.
  2. John Roemer, 2011. "Marc Fleurbaey, Fairness, responsibility, and welfare," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 129-135, March.
  3. BOSSERT, Walter & WEYMARK, J.A., 2006. "Social Choice: Recent Developments," Cahiers de recherche, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ 01-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.

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