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An axiomatization of the mixed utilitarian–maximin social welfare orderings

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  • Walter Bossert

    () (University of Montreal)

  • Kohei Kamaga

    () (Sophia University)

Abstract

We axiomatize the class of mixed utilitarian–maximin social welfare orderings. These orderings are convex combinations of utilitarianism and the maximin rule. Our first step is to show that the conjunction of the weak Suppes–Sen principle, the Pigou–Dalton transfer principle, continuity and the composite transfer principle is equivalent to the existence of a continuous and monotone ordering of pairs of average and minimum utilities that can be used to rank utility vectors. Using this observation, the main result of the paper establishes that the utilitarian–maximin social welfare orderings are characterized by adding the axiom of cardinal full comparability. In addition, we examine the consequences of replacing cardinal full comparability with ratio-scale full comparability and translation-scale full comparability, respectively. We also discuss the classes of normative inequality measures corresponding to our social welfare orderings.

Suggested Citation

  • Walter Bossert & Kohei Kamaga, 2020. "An axiomatization of the mixed utilitarian–maximin social welfare orderings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 69(2), pages 451-473, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:69:y:2020:i:2:d:10.1007_s00199-018-1168-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-018-1168-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sakamoto, Norihito, 2020. "Equity Principles and Interpersonal Comparison of Well-being: Old and New Joint Characterizations of Generalized Leximin, Rank-dependent Utilitarian, and Leximin Rules," RCNE Discussion Paper Series 7, Research Center for Normative Economics, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social welfare ordering; Utilitarianism; Maximin principle; Normative inequality index;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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