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Extreme inequality aversion without separability


  • Kristof Bosmans



Hammond (J Econ Theory 11, 465–467, 1975), Meyer (J Econ Theory 11, 119–132, 1975), and Lambert (The distribution and redistribution of income, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2001) provide the formal result connecting leximin and the idea of extreme inequality aversion for social preferences of the expected utility type. Using an analogous approach, we show that for social preferences not necessarily satisfying the separability axiom that underlies expected utility theory, the case of extreme inequality aversion is covered by the class of weakly maximin social preferences——i.e., the class of social preferences that give priority to the worst off in all cases in which the worst off is not indifferent.
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Suggested Citation

  • Kristof Bosmans, 2007. "Extreme inequality aversion without separability," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(3), pages 589-594, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:32:y:2007:i:3:p:589-594 DOI: 10.1007/s00199-006-0136-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    2. Kristof Bosmans, 2007. "Comparing degrees of inequality aversion," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 29(3), pages 405-428, October.
    3. Meyer, Jack, 1975. "Increasing risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 119-132, August.
    4. Hammond, Peter J., 1975. "A note on extreme inequality aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 465-467, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bosmans, Kristof, 2014. "Distribution-sensitivity of rank-dependent poverty measures," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 69-76.

    More about this item


    Inequality aversion; Leximin; Maximin; Risk aversion; D63; D81;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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