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The News of the Death of Welfare Economics is Greatly Exaggerated

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Author Info

  • Marc Fleurbaey

    (CATT - IDEP)

  • Philippe Mongin

    (CECO - Laboratoire d'econometrie de l'école polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7657 - Polytechnique - X)

Abstract

Après qu'Arrow eut démontré son théorème d'impossibilité, les "fonctions de bien-être social de Bergson-Samuelson" (FBS) firent l'objet d'une controverse qui opposa les théoriciens du choix social aux économistes du bien-être. Une version nouvelle du théorème parue dans les années 1970 visait à établir que les FBS "ou bien font des comparaisons d'utilité interpersonnelle, ou bien sont dictatoriales". Refusant cette conclusion, Samuelson réaffirma l'existence de FBS "ordinalistes" et, cependant, non-dictatoriales; plus généralement, il nia la pertinence des résultats arroviens pour l'économie du bien-être. L'article formalise et réévalue les arguments avancés de chaque côté. Bien qu'il critique également ceux de Samuelson, il approuve sa conclusion, voulant que l'économie du bien-être soit sortie indemne de la controverse. L'article propose de rapprocher les FBS de certaines constructions de l'économie normative contemporaine.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00242931.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00242931

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00242931/en/
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Related research

Keywords: Economie du bien-être; Théorie du choix social; Fonction de bien-être social de Bergson-Samuelson; Fonctionnelle de bien-être social; Arrow; Bergson; Samuelson;

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References

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  1. Marc Fleurbaey & Francois Maniquet, 2002. "Fair Income Tax," Economics Working Papers 0021, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  2. Kemp, Murray C & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1976. "On the Existence of Social Welfare Functions, Social Orderings and Social Decision Functions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(169), pages 59-66, February.
  3. Mongin, P., 1998. "Does Optimization Imply Rationality?," Papers 9817, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
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  5. Parks, Robert P, 1976. "An Impossibility Theorem for Fixed Preferences: A Dictatorial Bergson-Samuelson Welfare Function," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 447-50, October.
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  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
  8. Suzumura, Kotaro, 1999. "Paretian Welfare Judgements and Bergsonian Social Choice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 204-20, April.
  9. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A, 1984. "Social Choice with Interpersonal Utility Comparisons: A Diagrammatic Introduction," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(2), pages 327-56, June.
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  13. Marc Fleurbaey, 2003. "On the informational basis of social choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 347-384, October.
  14. Marc Fleurbaey & Fran�Ois Maniquet, 2007. "Help the Low Skilled or Let the Hardworking Thrive? A Study of Fairness in Optimal Income Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 467-500, 06.
  15. P. Mongin, 1999. "Normes et jugements de valeur en économie normative," THEMA Working Papers 99-20, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  16. Mayston, David J., 1982. "The generation of a social welfare function under ordinal preferences," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 109-129, September.
  17. P. Mongin, 2000. "Is there progress in normative economics ?," THEMA Working Papers 2000-37, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  18. Kemp, Murray C. & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1982. "The incompatibility of individualism and ordinalism," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 33-37, July.
  19. Suzumura, Kotaro, 2001. "Pareto principles from Inch to Ell," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 95-98, January.
  20. Kemp, Murray C & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1977. "More on Social Welfare Functions: The Incompatibility of Individualism and Ordinalism," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(173), pages 89-90, February.
  21. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
  22. Sen, Amartya K, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(115), pages 307-17, July.
  23. Little, I. M. D., 1999. "Collection and Recollections: Economic Papers and their Provenance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198295242.
  24. Nicolas Gravel, 2001. "On the difficulty of combining actual and potential criteria for an increase in social welfare," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 163-180.
  25. Kemp, Murray C. & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1983. "Individualistic social welfare functions under ordinalism: a reply to Mayston," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 305-307, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Serrano & Allan M. Feldman, 2007. "Arrow’S Impossibility Theorem: Preference Diversity In A Single-Profile World," Working Papers wp2007_0710, CEMFI.
  2. P. Mongin, 1999. "Normes et jugements de valeur en économie normative," THEMA Working Papers 99-20, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Marc Fleurbaey, 2007. "Social choice and the indexing dilemma," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 633-648, December.
  4. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2007. "Two criteria for social decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 421-447, May.
  5. John A Weymark, . "Social Welfare Functions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers vuecon-sub-13-00018, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  6. Raphaël Lhomme, 2013. "Faits et valeurs dans l'approche par les capabilités en économie : la place de la culture dans la méthodologie. Le cas des inégalités de genre dans l'accès à l'éducation de base," Post-Print dumas-00906152, HAL.
  7. Fabien Candau & Marc Fleurbaey, 2011. "Agglomeration and Welfare with Heterogeneous Preferences," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 685-708, September.
  8. Gotoh, Reiko & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2013. "Securing Basic Well-being for All," Discussion Paper Series 591, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2014-01, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  10. Stéphane Zuber, 2011. "The aggregation of preferences: can we ignore the past?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 367-384, March.
  11. Allan M Feldman & Roberto Serrano, 2008. "Arrow's Impossibility Theorem: Preference Diversity in a Single-Profile World," Working Papers 2008-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. Allan M. Feldman & Roberto Serrano, 2007. "Arrow's impossibility theorem: Two simple single-profile versions," Working Papers 2007-07, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.

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