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Impartiality and interpersonal comparisons of variations in well-being

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  • Edi Karni

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Abstract

The moral imperative requiring “equal treatment of equal claims,” or impartiality, is defined in the frameworks of Harsanyi's aggregation and impartial observer theorems as an axiomatic restriction of the underlying moral value judgments. The implications of impartiality for the functional form of the corresponding social welfare functions are derived and are shown to entail interpersonal comparison of variations in well-being. The argument is illustrated with examples. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Edi Karni, 2003. "Impartiality and interpersonal comparisons of variations in well-being," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(1), pages 95-111, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:21:y:2003:i:1:p:95-111
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-003-0203-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Thibault Gajdos & Feriel Kandil, 2008. "The ignorant observer," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 193-232, August.
    2. Stefan Mann, 2007. "Comparing Interpersonal Comparisons in Utility Theory and Happiness Research," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 29-42, April.
    3. Baucells, Manel & Shapley, Lloyd S., 2008. "Multiperson utility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 329-347, March.
    4. Marcus Pivato, 2009. "Twofold optimality of the relative utilitarian bargaining solution," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 32(1), pages 79-92, January.
    5. Juan Moreno-Ternero & John E. Roemer, 2004. "Impartiality and Priority. Part 1: The Veil of Ignorance," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1477A, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2005.

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