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Egalitarian-equivalence and the Pareto principle for social preferences


  • Koichi Tadenuma



When we construct social preferences, the Pareto principle is often in conflict with the equity criteria: there exist two allocations x and y such that x Pareto dominates y, but y is an equitable allocation whereas x is not. The efficiency-first principle requires to rank an allocation x higher than y if (i) x Pareto dominates y or (ii) x and y are Pareto-noncomparable and x is equitable whereas y is not. The equity-first principle reverses the order of application of the two criteria. Adopting egalitarian-equivalence as the notion of equity, we examine rationality of the social preference functions based on the efficiency-first or the equity-first principle. The degrees of rationality vary widely depending on which principle is adopted, and depending on the range of egalitarian-reference bundles. We show several impossibility and possibility results as well as a characterization of the social preference function introduced by Pazner and Schmeidler (1978). We also identify the sets of maximal allocations of the social preference relations in an Edgeworth box. The results are contrasted with those in the case where no-envy is the notion of equity.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:24:y:2005:i:3:p:455-473
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-003-0310-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Norman Schofield, 2003. "Power, prosperity and social choice: A review," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 20(1), pages 85-118.
    2. McKelvey, Richard D. & Schofield, Norman, 1986. "Structural instability of the core," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 179-198, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Houy, Nicolas & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2009. "Lexicographic compositions of multiple criteria for decision making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1770-1782, July.
    2. Houy, Nicolas, 2011. "A refinement of prudent choices," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 166-169, May.
    3. Matsuki, Jun & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2013. "Choice via Grouping Procedures," Discussion Papers 2013-08, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Thomson, William, 2011. "Chapter Twenty-One - Fair Allocation Rules," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare,in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 21, pages 393-506 Elsevier.
    5. Houy, Nicolas, 2008. "A note on the Suzumura-consistency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 90-95, January.
    6. Nicolas Houy, 2008. "Prudent choices and rationality," Working Papers hal-00360518, HAL.
    7. repec:spr:sochwe:v:50:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1085-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2007. "Two criteria for social decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 421-447, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis


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