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Social welfare functions and fairness

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  • Edi Karni

    (Department of Economics, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA)

Abstract

A definition of a social state is proposed that incorporates the notion of procedural fairness into Harsanyi's (1955) analytical framework. We show that, within the new framework, a Harsanyi-type social welfare function is immune to Diamond's (1967) criticism. Moreover, the resulting social welfare function embodies the notion of procedural fairness held by individual members of the society.

Suggested Citation

  • Edi Karni, 1996. "Social welfare functions and fairness," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(4), pages 487-496.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:13:y:1996:i:4:p:487-496
    Note: Received: 7 February 1995/Accepted: 5 October 1995
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    Cited by:

    1. Volker Hahn, 2007. "Fairness and voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(4), pages 607-607, June.
    2. Simon Grant & Atsushi Kajii & Ben Polak & Zvi Safra, 2010. "Generalized Utilitarianism and Harsanyi's Impartial Observer Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1939-1971, November.
    3. Simon Grant & Atsushi Kajii & Ben Polak, 2003. "Accidents of Birth, Life Chances and the Impartial Observer," ISER Discussion Paper 0582, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    4. Stefan Trautmann, 2010. "Individual fairness in Harsanyi’s utilitarianism: operationalizing all-inclusive utility," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(4), pages 405-415, April.
    5. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1998. "Chance and justice: Social policies and the Harsanyi-Vickrey-Rawls problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1393-1416, September.
    6. Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2008. "Moral sentiments and social choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(3), pages 427-446, April.
    7. Grant, Simon & Kajii, A. & Polak, B., 2002. "Accident of Birth, Life Chances adn the Impartial Observer," Working Papers 2002-08, Rice University, Department of Economics.
    8. Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2003. "Moral Sentiments and Social Choice: Fairness Considerations in University Admissions," Economics Working Paper Archive 492, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.

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