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Comparing Societies with Different Numbers of Individuals on the Basis of Their Average Advantage

In: Social Ethics and Normative Economics


  • Nicolas Gravel

    (GREQAM-IDEP, Université de la Méditerranée)

  • Thierry Marchant

    (Ghent University)

  • Arunava Sen

    (Indian Statistical Institute)


At an abstract level, one can view the various theories of justice that have been discussed in economics and philosophy in the last 50 years or so, including of course that of Serge-Christophe Kolm (2005), as attempts at providing criteria for comparing alternative societies on the basis of their “ethical goodness.” The compared societies can be truly distinct societies, such as India and China. They can also be the same society examined at two different points of time (say India today and India 20 years ago) or, more counterfactually, before and after a tax reform or demographic shock.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Gravel & Thierry Marchant & Arunava Sen, 2011. "Comparing Societies with Different Numbers of Individuals on the Basis of Their Average Advantage," Studies in Choice and Welfare, in: Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John A. Weymark (ed.), Social Ethics and Normative Economics, pages 261-277, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:stcchp:978-3-642-17807-8_11
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-17807-8_11

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Andreoli & Mathieu Faure & Nicolas Gravel & Tista Kundu, 2021. "Evaluating distributions of opportunities from behind a veil of ignorance: A robust approach," AMSE Working Papers 2137, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    2. Nicolas Gravel & Brice Magdalou & Patrick Moyes, 2021. "Ranking distributions of an ordinal variable," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 71(1), pages 33-80, February.
    3. Silber, Jacques & Yalonetzky, Gaston, 2021. "Measuring welfare, inequality and poverty with ordinal variables," GLO Discussion Paper Series 962, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Suman Seth & Gaston Yalonetzky, 2020. "Prioritarian evaluation of well-being with an ordinal variable," Working Papers 531, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Pivato, Marcus, 2022. "A characterization of Cesàro average utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).
    6. Amit Kothiyal & Vitalie Spinu & Peter P. Wakker, 2014. "Average Utility Maximization: A Preference Foundation," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 62(1), pages 207-218, February.


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