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Chapter Twenty-Three - Welfarism, Individual Rights, and Procedural Fairness

In: Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare


  • Suzumura, Kotaro


Ever since Sen crystallized the logical conflict between the welfaristic value of the Pareto principle and the nonwelfaristic value of individual libertarian rights into what he christened the impossibility of a Paretian liberal, there have been many attempts in social choice theory to generalize, or to repudiate, the conflict between welfare and rights. This chapter focuses on this logical conflict and tries to find a way of balancing these two important values in human well-being. We will identify three issues in this line of research, viz., the formal articulation of rights, the social realization of rights, and the initial conferment of rights. We will also examine the sustainability of Sen's concept of individual rights and examine the game form articulation of individual rights as a viable alternative to Sen's proposed concept.

Suggested Citation

  • Suzumura, Kotaro, 2011. "Chapter Twenty-Three - Welfarism, Individual Rights, and Procedural Fairness," 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 23, pages 605-685, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socchp:2-23

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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics, Ethics, and Culture > Social justice > Liberal theories > Libertarianism and rights


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    Cited by:

    1. Piggins, Ashley & Salerno, Gillian, 2016. "Sen cycles and externalities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 25-27.
    2. Keith L. Dougherty & Julian Edward, 2022. "The effect of unconditional preferences on Sen’s paradox," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 427-447, October.

    More about this item


    individual rights; welfarism; normal game form; procedural fairness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General


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