IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On Comparing Heterogenous Populations: is there really a Conflict between the Pareto Criterion and Inequality Aversion?


  • Bart Chapeau
  • Erwin Ooghe


The incompatibility between the Pareto indifference criterion and a concern for greater equality in living standards of heterogenous populations (see, amongst others, Ebert, 1995, 1997, Ebert and Moyes, 2003 and Shorrocks, 1995) might come as a surprise, since both principles are reconcilable when people differ only in income (homogenous population). We present two families of welfare rankings --(i) single parameter extensions of the generalized Lorenz dominance rule and (ii) a subset of Weymark's (1981) generalized Ginis-- and show how and why these rules resolve the paradox.

Suggested Citation

  • Bart Chapeau & Erwin Ooghe, 2004. "On Comparing Heterogenous Populations: is there really a Conflict between the Pareto Criterion and Inequality Aversion?," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0407, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0407

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Lars Peter & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1997. " Assessing Specification Errors in Stochastic Discount Factor Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 557-590, June.
    2. Brandt, Michael W. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2002. "Simulated likelihood estimation of diffusions with an application to exchange rate dynamics in incomplete markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 161-210, February.
    3. Gikas Hardouvelis & Rafael La Porta & Thierry A. Wizman, 1994. "What Moves the Discount on Country Equity Funds?," NBER Chapters,in: The Internationalization of Equity Markets, pages 345-403 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Welch, Ivo, 2000. "Views of Financial Economists on the Equity Premium and on Professional Controversies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 501-537, October.
    5. Keim, Donald B & Madhaven, Ananth, 1996. "The Upstairs Market for Large-Block Transactions: Analysis and Measurement of Price Effects," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36.
    6. Chen, Zhiwu & Knez, Peter J, 1995. "Measurement of Market Integration and Arbitrage," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(2), pages 287-325.
    7. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
    8. Froot, Kenneth A. & Dabora, Emil M., 1999. "How are stock prices affected by the location of trade?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 189-216, August.
    9. Owen A. Lamont & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Can the Market Add and Subtract? Mispricing in Tech Stock Carve-outs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 227-268, April.
    10. Madhavan, Ananth, 2000. "Market microstructure: A survey," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 205-258, August.
    11. David K. Backus, 2001. "Affine Term Structure Models and the Forward Premium Anomaly," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 279-304, February.
    12. Bodurtha, James N, Jr & Kim, Dong-Soon & Lee, Charles M C, 1995. "Closed-End Country Funds and U.S. Market Sentiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 879-918.
    13. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bart Capéau & Erwin Ooghe, 2004. "On the reconciliation of efficiency and inequality aversion with heterogeneous populations: characterization results," Public Economics Working Paper Series wpeiahp, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.

    More about this item


    heterogeneity; welfare comparisons.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0407. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (library EBIB). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.