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Elitism and stochastic dominance

  • Stephen Bazen


  • Patrick Moyes


Stochastic dominance has been typically used with a special emphasis on risk and in-equality reduction something captured by the concavity of the utility function in the expected utility model. We claim that the applicability of the stochastic dominance ap-proach goes far beyond risk and inequality measurement provided suitable adaptations be made. We apply in the paper the stochastic dominance approach to the measurement of elitism which may be considered the opposite of egalitarianism. While the usual stochastic dominance quasi-orderings attach more value to more equal and more effi-cient distributions, our criteria ensure that, the more unequal and the more efficient the distribution, the higher it is ranked. Two instances are provided by (i) comparisons of scientific performance across institutions like universities or departments, and (ii) com-parisons of affluence as opposed to poverty between countries.

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

Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 207-251

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:39:y:2012:i:1:p:207-251
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