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Social Choice and Just Institutions: New Perspectives

Author

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  • Marc Fleurbaey

    (Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld University)

Abstract

It has become accepted that social choice is impossible in absence of interpersonal comparisons of well-being. This view is challenged here. Arrow obtained an impossibility theorem only by making unreasonable demands on social choice functions. With reasonable requirements, one can get very attractive possibilities and derive social preferences on the basis of non-comparable individual preferences. This new approach makes it possible to design optimal second-best institutions inspired by principles of fairness, while traditionally the analysis of optimal second-best institutions was thought to require interpersonal comparisons of well-being. In particular, this new approach turns out to be especially suitable for the application of recent philosophical theories of justice formulated in terms of fairness, such as equality of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Fleurbaey, 2002. "Social Choice and Just Institutions: New Perspectives," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 333, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  • Handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:333
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    File URL: http://www.imw.uni-bielefeld.de/papers/files/imw-wp-333.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tungodden, Bertil, 2000. "Egalitarianism: Is Leximin the Only Option?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 229-245, October.
    2. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
    3. Sprumont, Yves & Zhou, Lin, 1999. "Pazner-Schmeidler rules in large societies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 321-339, April.
    4. Elisha A. Pazner & David Schmeidler, 1978. "Egalitarian Equivalent Allocations: A New Concept of Economic Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 671-687.
    5. Hammond, Peter J, 1976. "Equity, Arrow's Conditions, and Rawls' Difference Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 793-804, July.
    6. Marc Fleurbaey & Alain Trannoy, 2003. "The impossibility of a Paretian egalitarian," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(2), pages 243-263, October.
    7. Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John Weymark, 2008. "Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism," Post-Print hal-00246415, HAL.
    8. Thomson, William, 1988. "A study of choice correspondences in economies with a variable number of agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 237-254, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. BOSSERT, Walter & WEYMARK, J.A., 2006. "Social Choice: Recent Developments," Cahiers de recherche 01-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    2. Clément, Valérie & Moureau, Nathalie & Vidal, Marion, 2009. "À la recherche des biens sous tutelle," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 85(4), pages 383-401, décembre.
    3. Fabien Candau & Marc Fleurbaey, 2011. "Agglomeration and Welfare with Heterogeneous Preferences," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 685-708, September.
    4. John Roemer, 2011. "Marc Fleurbaey, Fairness, responsibility, and welfare," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(1), pages 129-135, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social welfare; social choice; fairness; egalitarian-equivalence;

    JEL classification:

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

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