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The news of the death of welfare economics is greatly exaggerated

  • Marc Fleurbaey

    ()

  • Philippe Mongin

    ()

Après qu'Arrow eut démontré son théorème d'impossibilité, les "fonctions de bien-être social de Bergson-Samuelson" (FBS) firent l'objet d'une controverse qui opposa les théoriciens du choix social aux économistes du bien-être. Une version nouvelle du théorème parue dans les années 1970 visait à établir que les FBS "ou bien font des comparaisons d'utilité interpersonnelle, ou bien sont dictatoriales". Refusant cette conclusion, Samuelson réaffirma l'existence de FBS "ordinalistes" et, cependant, non-dictatoriales; plus généralement, il nia la pertinence des résultats arroviens pour l'économie du bien-être. L'article formalise et réévalue les arguments avancés de chaque côté. Bien qu'il critique également ceux de Samuelson, il approuve sa conclusion, voulant que l'économie du bien-être soit sortie indemne de la controverse. L'article propose de rapprocher les FBS de certaines constructions de l'économie normative contemporaine.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 25 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 381-418

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:25:y:2005:i:2:p:381-418
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  8. P. Mongin, 1999. "Normes et jugements de valeur en économie normative," THEMA Working Papers 99-20, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  9. Kemp, Murray C & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1977. "More on Social Welfare Functions: The Incompatibility of Individualism and Ordinalism," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(173), pages 89-90, February.
  10. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
  11. Marc Fleurbaey & Fran�Ois Maniquet, 2007. "Help the Low Skilled or Let the Hardworking Thrive? A Study of Fairness in Optimal Income Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 467-500, 06.
  12. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
  13. Pollak, Robert A, 1979. "Bergson-Samuelson Social Welfare Functions and the Theory of Social Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 73-90, February.
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  18. I. M. D. Little, 1952. "Social Choice and Individual Values," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 422.
  19. Marc Fleurbaey & Fran�ois Maniquet, 2006. "Fair Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83.
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  22. Atkinson, Anthony B, 2001. "The Strange Disappearance of Welfare Economics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2-3), pages 193-206.
  23. Georges Bordes & Peter J. Hammond & Michel Le Breton, 2005. "Social Welfare Functionals on Restricted Domains and in Economic Environments," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, 02.
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