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Assessing risky social situations

  • FLEURBAEY, Marc

This paper re-examines the welfare economics of risk. It singles out a class of criteria, the “expected equally-distributed equivalent”, as the unique class which avoids serious drawbacks of existing approaches. Such criteria behave like ex-post criteria when the final statistical distribution of wellbeing is known ex ante, and like ex-ante criteria when risk generates no inequality. The paper also provides a new result on the tension between inequality aversion and respect of individual ex ante preferences, in the vein of Harsanyi’s aggregation theorem.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/656513
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number 2289.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2289
Note: In : Journal of Political Economy, 118(4), 649-680, 2010
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  1. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1998. "Chance and justice: Social policies and the Harsanyi-Vickrey-Rawls problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1393-1416, September.
  2. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702, December.
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  6. MONGIN, Philippe, 1993. "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation," CORE Discussion Papers 1993019, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2009. "Two variants of Harsanyi's aggregation theorem," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 300-302, December.
  8. Hammond, Peter J, 1989. "Consistent Plans, Consequentialism, and Expected Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1445-49, November.
  9. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  10. Hammond, Peter J, 1981. "Ex-ante and Ex-post Welfare Optimality under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(191), pages 235-50, August.
  11. Itzhak Gilboa & Elchanan Ben-Porath & David Schmeidler, 1997. "On the Measurement of Inequality under Uncertainty," Post-Print hal-00481334, HAL.
  12. Peter Wakker, 1993. "Savage's Axioms Usually Imply Violation of Strict Stochastic Dominance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 487-493.
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  14. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
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  16. Thibault Gajdos & Eric Maurin, 2004. "Unequal Uncertainties and Uncertain Inequalities: An Axiomatic Approach," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00085940, HAL.
  17. John Roemer, 2006. "The Global Welfare Economics of Immigration," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(2), pages 311-325, October.
  18. 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.
  19. Chambers, Christopher & Takashi Hayashi, 2003. "Preference Aggregation under Uncertainty: Savage vs. Pareto," Working Papers 1184, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  22. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-68, December.
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  24. 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.
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  28. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00085940 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Mark J Machina, 1982. ""Expected Utility" Analysis without the Independence Axiom," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7650, David K. Levine.
  30. John Leach, 2007. "Ex Post Welfare under Alternative Health Care Systems," Department of Economics Working Papers 2007-05, McMaster University.
  31. Hammond, Peter J, 1979. "Equity in Two Person Situations: Some Consequences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1127-35, September.
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  35. Broome, John, 1984. "Uncertainty and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(375), pages 624-32, September.
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  37. Antoine Bommier & Stéphane Zuber, 2008. "Can preferences for catastrophe avoidance reconcile social discounting with intergenerational equity?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(3), pages 415-434, October.
  38. Philip J. Cook & Daniel A. Graham, 1977. "The Demand for Insurance and Protection: The Case of Irreplaceable Commodities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 143-156.
  39. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
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