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Inequality aversion and separability in social risk evaluation

  • FLEURBAEY, Marc

    ()

    (CERSES, Université Paris Descartes & CNRS, France and Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B- 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • ZUBER, Stéphane

    ()

    (CERSES, Université Paris Descartes & CNRS, France and Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B- 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

This paper examines how to satisfy a separability condition related to “independence of the utilities of the dead” (Blackorby et al., 1995; Bommier and Zuber, 2008) in the class of “expected equally distributed equivalent” social orderings (Fleurbaey, 2010). It also inquires into the possibility to keep some aversion to inequality in this context. It is shown that the social welfare function must either be utilitarian or take a special multiplicative form. The multiplicative form is compatible with any degree of inequality aversion, but only under some constraints on the range of individual utilities.

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File URL: http://uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2011_23web.pdf
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2011023.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2011023
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  1. Luc Lauwers, 2012. "Intergenerational equity, efficiency, and constructibility," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 227-242, February.
  2. M. Fleurbaey & A. Trannoy, 2000. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Egalitarian," THEMA Working Papers 2000-26, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Grant, Simon, 1995. "Subjective Probability without Monotonicity: Or How Machina's Mom May Also Be Probabilistically Sophisticated," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 159-89, January.
  4. Marc Fleurbaey, 2010. "Assessing Risky Social Situations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 649-680, 08.
  5. Thibault Gajdos & Feriel Kandil, 2008. "The ignorant observer," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 193-232, August.
  6. DHILLON, Amrita & MERTENS, Jean-François, . "Relative utilitarianism," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1398, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Asheim, Geir B. & Mitra, Tapan & Tungodden, Bertil, 2006. "Sustainable recursive social welfare functions," Memorandum 18/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Antoine Bommier & Stéphane Zuber, 2008. "Can preferences for catastrophe avoidance reconcile social discounting with intergenerational equity?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 415-434, October.
  9. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  10. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  11. Diez Henar & Lasso de la Vega M. Casilda & de Sarachu Amaia & Urrutia Ana M., 2007. "A Consistent Multidimensional Generalization of the Pigou-Dalton Transfer Principle: An Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-17, December.
  12. Fleurbaey, Marc & Gajdos, Thibault & Zuber, Stéphane, 2015. "Social rationality, separability, and equity under uncertainty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 13-22.
  13. Ralph L. Keeney, 1980. "Utility Functions for Equity and Public Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 345-353, April.
  14. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
  15. Peter A. Diamond, 1967. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparison of Utility: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 765.
  16. Epstein, Larry G & Segal, Uzi, 1992. "Quadratic Social Welfare Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 691-712, August.
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