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Inequality aversion and separability in social risk evaluation

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  • FLEURBAEY, Marc

    ()
    (CERSES, Université Paris Descartes & CNRS, France and Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B- 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • ZUBER, Stéphane

    ()
    (CERSES, Université Paris Descartes & CNRS, France and Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B- 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Abstract

This paper examines how to satisfy a separability condition related to “independence of the utilities of the dead” (Blackorby et al., 1995; Bommier and Zuber, 2008) in the class of “expected equally distributed equivalent” social orderings (Fleurbaey, 2010). It also inquires into the possibility to keep some aversion to inequality in this context. It is shown that the social welfare function must either be utilitarian or take a special multiplicative form. The multiplicative form is compatible with any degree of inequality aversion, but only under some constraints on the range of individual utilities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2011023.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2011023

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Keywords: risk; ex post equity; independence of the utilities of the dead;

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  1. Luc LAUWERS, 2010. "Intergenerational equity, efficiency and constructability," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.22, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Diez Henar & Lasso de la Vega M. Casilda & de Sarachu Amaia & Urrutia Ana M., 2007. "A Consistent Multidimensional Generalization of the Pigou-Dalton Transfer Principle: An Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-17, December.
  3. Epstein, Larry G & Segal, Uzi, 1992. "Quadratic Social Welfare Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 691-712, August.
  4. Ralph L. Keeney, 1980. "Utility Functions for Equity and Public Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 345-353, April.
  5. Marc Fleurbaey, 2010. "Assessing Risky Social Situations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 649-680, 08.
  6. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
  7. Grant, Simon, 1995. "Subjective Probability without Monotonicity: Or How Machina's Mom May Also Be Probabilistically Sophisticated," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 159-89, January.
  8. DHILLON, Amrita & MERTENS, Jean-François, 1993. "Relative Utilitarianism," CORE Discussion Papers 1993048, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Thibault Gajdos & Feriel Kandil, 2008. "The ignorant observer," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00177374, HAL.
  10. Asheim, Geir B. & Mitra, Tapan & Tungodden, Bertil, 2006. "Sustainable recursive social welfare functions," Memorandum 18/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  11. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  12. Antoine Bommier & Stéphane Zuber, 2008. "Can preferences for catastrophe avoidance reconcile social discounting with intergenerational equity?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 415-434, October.
  13. Peter A. Diamond, 1967. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparison of Utility: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 765.
  14. M. Fleurbaey & A. Trannoy, 2000. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Egalitarian," THEMA Working Papers 2000-26, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  15. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  16. FLEURBAEY, Marc & GAJDOS, Thibault & ZUBER, Stéphane, 2010. "Social rationality, separability, and equity under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers 2010037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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