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Do Irrelevant Commodities Matter?

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  • Fleurbaey, Marc
  • Tadenuma, Koichi

Abstract

We study the possibility of making social evaluations of allocations independently of individuals' preferences over unavailable commodities. This is related to the well-known problem of performing international comparisons of standard of living across countries with different consumption goods. We prove impossibility results which suggest that such evaluations encounter difficulties when the objects of evaluation are allocations of ordinary commodities. We show how possibility results can be retrieved when the objects of evaluation are allocations of composite commodities, characteristics or human functionings.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/16928/1/070econDP05-09.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University in its series Discussion Papers with number 2005-09.

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Length: 33 p.
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:econdp:2005-09

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Keywords: consumer preferences; social choice; irrelevant commodities; functionings;

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  1. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1950. "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 328.
  2. LeBreton, M., 1994. "Arrovian Social Choice on Economic Domains," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 94a37, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  3. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
  4. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2000. "Fair Social Orderings With Unequal Production Skills," THEMA Working Papers 2000-17, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  5. Le Breton, Michel & Weymark, John, 2002. "Arrovian Social Choice Theory on Economic Domains," IDEI Working Papers 143, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Sep 2003.
  6. Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1988. "Social choice in economic environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 291-308, December.
  7. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "The Informational Basis of the Theory of Fair Allocation," Discussion Papers 2002-11, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. Pazner, Elisha A & Schmeidler, David, 1978. "Egalitarian Equivalent Allocations: A New Concept of Economic Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 671-87, November.
  9. Border, Kim C., 1983. "Social welfare functions for economic environments with and without the pareto principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 205-216, April.
  10. John Bone, 2003. "Simple Arrow-type propositions in the Edgeworth domain," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 41-48.
  11. Marc Fleurbaey, 2005. "The Pazner-Schmeidler social ordering: A defense," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 145-166, 04.
  12. 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.
  13. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2005. "Arrovian aggregation in economic environments: how much should we know about indifference surfaces?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 22-44, September.
  14. Redekop, James, 1991. "Social welfare functions on restricted economic domains," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 396-427, April.
  15. Bordes, Georges & Breton, Michel Le, 1989. "Arrovian theorems with private alternatives domains and selfish individuals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 257-281, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Geoffroy de Clippel & Camelia Bejan, 2009. "No Profitable Decomposition in Quasi-Linear Allocation Problems," Working Papers 2009-6, Brown University, Department of Economics.

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