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Behavioral fair social choice

  • FLEURBAEY, Marc

    ()

    (Princeton University, USA)

  • SCHOKKAERT, Erik

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Behavioral economics has shaken the view that individuals have well-defined, consistent and stable preferences. This raises a challenge for welfare economics, which takes as a key postulate that individual preferences should be respected. We agree with Bernheim (2009) and Bernheim and Rangel (2009) that behavioral economics is compatible with consistency of partial preferences and that subjective welfare measures do not offer an attractive way out of the impasse. However, their analysis which rests on traditional concepts like Pareto optimality and compensation tests, is not adequate to introduce distributional considerations. We explore how partial preferences can be introduced in the recent theory of welfare that has developed from the theory of fair allocation. We revisit the key results of that theory in a framework with partial preferences and show how one can derive partial orderings of individual and social situations.

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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 2011043.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2011043
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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2010. "Behavioral welfare economics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 123-151, June.
  2. Marc Fleurbaey & Alain Trannoy, 2003. "The impossibility of a Paretian egalitarian," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 243-263, October.
  3. Willig, Robert D, 1981. "Social Welfare Dominance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 200-204, May.
  4. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  6. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2008. "How are Preferences Revealed?," NBER Working Papers 13976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Loewenstein, George & Ubel, Peter A., 2008. "Hedonic adaptation and the role of decision and experience utility in public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1795-1810, August.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521887427 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2008. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," NBER Working Papers 13737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik & DECANCQ, Koen, 2009. "What good is happiness?," CORE Discussion Papers 2009017, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Amos Tversky & Itamar Simonson, 1993. "Context-Dependent Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1179-1189, October.
  12. Marc Fleurbaey, 2005. "Health, Wealth, and Fairness," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(2), pages 253-284, 05.
  13. Bernt Christian Brun & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Non-welfaristic theories of justice: Is “the intersection approach” a solution to the indexing impasse?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 49-60, 02.
  14. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104, February.
  15. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Money metric utility: A harmless normalization?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 120-129, October.
  16. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
  17. Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2008. "Choices, situations, and happiness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1821-1832, August.
  18. Dalton, Patricio & Ghosal, Sayantan, 2008. "Behavioural Decisions and Welfare," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 834, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  19. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
  20. King, Mervyn A., 1983. "Welfare analysis of tax reforms using household data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 183-214, July.
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