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About the Right Weight of the Social Welfare Function when Needs Differ

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Abstract

When equivalence scales are used to compute the well-being of individuals, two possible weighting methods of the different household types have been proposed, the first one resorts to the family size and the second to the equivalence scale itself. The latter is criticized on the ground that it does not respect an anonymity axiom. We show that this criticism vanishes in the standard microeconomic setting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0304.

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Length: 5 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0304

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Keywords: social welfare; equivalence scale; weights; anonymity; indirect utility function;

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  1. Udo Ebert, 1999. "Using equivalent income of equivalent adults to rank income distributions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 233-258.
  2. Ebert, Udo, 1997. "Social Welfare When Needs Differ: An Axiomatic Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 233-44, May.
  3. Bourguignon, Francois, 1989. "Family size and social utility : Income distribution dominance criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-80, September.
  4. Glewwe, Paul, 1991. "Household equivalence scales and the measurement of inequality : Transfers from the poor to the rich could decrease inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 211-216, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Anthony Shorrocks, 2004. "Inequality and welfare evaluation of heterogeneous income distributions," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 193-218, July.

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