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Two criteria for social decisions

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  • Fleurbaey, Marc

Abstract

This paper studies the ethical underpinnings of two social criteria which are prominent in the literature dealing with the problem of evaluating allocations of several consumption goods in a population with heteregenous preferences. The Pazner-Schmeidler criterion (Pazner-Schmeidler 1978) and the Walrasian criterion (Fleurbaey and Maniquet 1996) are prima facie quite different. But it is shown here that these criteria are related to close variants of the fairness condition that an allocation is better when every individual bundle in it dominates the average consumption in another allocation. In addition, the results suggest that the Pazner-Schmeidler criterion can be viewed as the best extension of the Walrasian criterion to non-convex economies.
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Suggested Citation

  • Fleurbaey, Marc, 2007. "Two criteria for social decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 421-447, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:134:y:2007:i:1:p:421-447
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2006. "Fair Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83.
    2. Marc Fleurbaey & Kotaro Suzumura & Koichi Tadenuma, 2005. "The informational basis of the theory of fair allocation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(2), pages 311-341, April.
    3. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
    4. Maniquet, François, 2008. "Social orderings for the assignment of indivisible objects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 199-215, November.
    5. Sprumont, Yves & Zhou, Lin, 1999. "Pazner-Schmeidler rules in large societies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 321-339, April.
    6. Elisha A. Pazner & David Schmeidler, 1978. "Egalitarian Equivalent Allocations: A New Concept of Economic Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 671-687.
    7. Maniquet, Francois, 1999. "A strong incompatibility between efficiency and equity in non-convex economies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 467-474, December.
    8. Koichi Tadenuma, 2005. "Egalitarian-equivalence and the Pareto principle for social preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(3), pages 455-473, June.
    9. Amartya Sen, 1999. "The Possibility of Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 349-378, June.
    10. Maniquet, Francois & Sprumont, Yves, 2005. "Welfare egalitarianism in non-rival environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 155-174, February.
    11. Marc Fleurbaey, 2003. "On the informational basis of social choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(2), pages 347-384, October.
    12. Marc Fleurbaey & Philippe Mongin, 2005. "The news of the death of welfare economics is greatly exaggerated," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 25(2), pages 381-418, December.
    13. François Maniquet & Yves Sprumont, 2004. "Fair Production and Allocation of an Excludable Nonrival Good," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 627-640, March.
    14. Marc Fleurbaey & Alain Trannoy, 2003. "The impossibility of a Paretian egalitarian," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(2), pages 243-263, October.
    15. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2005. "Fair social orderings when agents have unequal production skills," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(1), pages 93-127, September.
    16. Varian, Hal R., 1974. "Equity, envy, and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, September.
    17. Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "Efficiency First or Equity First? Two Principles and Rationality of Social Choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 462-472, June.
    18. 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.
    19. Marc Fleurbaey, 2005. "Health, Wealth, and Fairness," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(2), pages 253-284, May.
    20. Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Reaffirming the Existence of "Reasonable" Bergson-Samuelson Social Welfare Functions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(173), pages 81-88, February.
    21. Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John Weymark, 2008. "Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism," Post-Print hal-00246415, HAL.
    22. Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson, 1990. "A Review Article: The Case against the Use of the Sum of Compensating Variations in Cost-Benefit Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 471-494, August.
    23. Thomson, William, 1988. "A study of choice correspondences in economies with a variable number of agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 237-254, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Treibich, Rafael, 2014. "Welfare Egalitarianism with Other-Regarding Preferences," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 22/2014, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    2. Jang, Inkee, 2017. "The Pareto principle and resource egalitarianism," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 23-29.
    3. Sprumont, Yves, 2012. "Resource egalitarianism with a dash of efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1602-1613.
    4. Kristof Bosmans & Z. Emel Öztürk, 2018. "An axiomatic approach to the measurement of envy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 50(2), pages 247-264, February.
    5. SPRUMONT, Yves, 2009. "Relative Egalitarianism and Related Criteria," Cahiers de recherche 2009-02, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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