IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Fair management of social risk

  • Marc Fleurbaey


    (Woodrow Wilson School and Center for Human Values - Princeton University)

  • Stéphane Zuber


    (Axe Microéconomie Appliquée - CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

We provide a general method for extending fair social preferences defined for riskless economic environments to the context of risk and uncertainty. We apply the méthod to the problems of managing unemployment allowances (in the context of macroeconomic fluctuations) and catastrophic risks (in the context of climate change). It requires paying attention to individuals' risk attitudes and rationality properties of social preferences, revisiting basic ideas from Harsanyi's seminal work (Harsanyi, 1995). The social preferences that we obtain do not in general take the form of an expected utility criterion, but they always satisfy statewise dominance. We also show how non-expected utility individual preferences can be accommodated in the approach.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00973480.

in new window

Date of creation: Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00973480
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Ben-Porath, Elchanan & Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1997. "On the Measurement of Inequality under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 194-204, July.
  3. Chambers, Christopher P. & Echenique, Federico, 2012. "When does aggregation reduce risk aversion?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 582-595.
  4. De Meyer, Bernard & Mongin, Philippe, 1995. "A note on affine aggregation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 177-183, February.
  5. Mongin Philippe, 1995. "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 313-351, August.
  6. Thibault Gajdos & Eric Maurin, 2002. "Unequal uncertainties and uncertain inequalities: an axiomatic approach," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 15-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research, revised Mar 2003.
  7. Simon Grant & Atsushi Kajii & Ben Polak & Zvi Safra, 2010. "Generalized Utilitarianism and Harsanyi's Impartial Observer Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1939-1971, November.
  8. Machina,Mark & Schmeidler,David, 1991. "A more robust definition of subjective probability," Discussion Paper Serie A 365, University of Bonn, Germany.
  9. Grant, Simon & Özsoy, Hatice & Polak, Ben, 2008. "Probabilistic sophistication and stochastic monotonicity in the Savage framework," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 371-380, May.
  10. Walter Nicholson & Karen Needels, 2006. "Unemployment Insurance: Strengthening the Relationship between Theory and Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 47-70, Summer.
  11. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  12. 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.
  13. Millner, Antony, 2013. "On welfare frameworks and catastrophic climate risks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 310-325.
  14. Gilboa, I. & Samet, D. & Schmeidler, D., 2001. "Utilitarian Aggregation of Beliefs and Tastes," Papers 2001-17, Tel Aviv.
  15. Marc Fleurbaey, 2010. "Assessing Risky Social Situations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 649-680, 08.
  16. Antony Millner, 2013. "On Welfare Frameworks and Catastrophic Climate Risks," CESifo Working Paper Series 4442, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. 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.
  18. Dreze, J. & Gollier, C., 1990. "Risk-sharing on the labour market and second-best wage rigidities," CORE Discussion Papers 1990067, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. Robert S. Pindyck & Neng Wang, 2013. "The Economic and Policy Consequences of Catastrophes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 306-39, November.
  20. Mongin, Philippe, 1998. "The paradox of the Bayesian experts and state-dependent utility theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 331-361, April.
  21. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1999. "Harsanyi's social aggregation theorem for state-contingent alternatives1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 365-387, November.
  22. Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
  23. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521715348 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Marc Fleurbaey, 2005. "Health, Wealth, and Fairness," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(2), pages 253-284, 05.
  25. Christian Gollier, 1991. "Unemployment Insurance: Risk Sharing Versus Efficiency," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 16(1), pages 59-74, June.
  26. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521887427 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. repec:mpr:mprres:5070 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00085940 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00973480. 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: (CCSD)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.