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Do irrelevant commodities matter?

Listed author(s):
  • Marc Fleurbaey

    ()

    (CERSES - Centre de recherche sens, ethique, société - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5)

  • Koichi Tadenuma

We study how to evaluate allocations independently of individual preferences over unavailable commodities. We prove impossibility results suggesting that such evaluations encounter serious difficulties. This is related to the well-known problem of performing international comparisons of standard of living across countries with different consumption goods. We show how possibility results can be retrieved with restrictions on the domain of preferences, on the application of the independence axiom or on the set of allocations to be ranked. Such restrictions appear more plausible when the objects of evaluation are allocations of composite commodities, characteristics or human functionings rather than ordinary commodities.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00246315.

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Date of creation: 2007
Publication status: Published in Econometrica, Econometric Society, 2007, 75, pp.1143-1174
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00246315
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00246315
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  1. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "Arrovian Aggregation in Economic Environments: How Much Should We Know About Indifference Surfaces?," Discussion Paper 121, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Elisha A. Pazner & David Schmeidler, 1978. "Egalitarian Equivalent Allocations: A New Concept of Economic Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 671-687.
  3. Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John Weymark, 2008. "Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism," Post-Print hal-00246415, HAL.
  4. Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1988. "Social choice in economic environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 291-308, December.
  5. Marc Fleurbaey, 2005. "The Pazner-Schmeidler social ordering: A defense," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 9(2), pages 145-166, 04.
  6. Border, Kim C., 1983. "Social welfare functions for economic environments with and without the pareto principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 205-216, April.
  7. Redekop, James, 1991. "Social welfare functions on restricted economic domains," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 396-427, April.
  8. Marc Fleurbaey & Kotaro Suzumura & Koichi Tadenuma, 2005. "The informational basis of the theory of fair allocation," Post-Print hal-00247023, HAL.
  9. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2000. "Fair Social Orderings With Unequal Production Skills," THEMA Working Papers 2000-17, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  10. FLEURBAEY, Marc & MANIQUET, François, "undated". "Fair social orderings," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1995, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Mayston, David J., 1982. "The generation of a social welfare function under ordinal preferences," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 109-129, September.
  12. Bordes, Georges & Breton, Michel Le, 1989. "Arrovian theorems with private alternatives domains and selfish individuals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 257-281, April.
  13. LeBreton, M., 1994. "Arrovian Social Choice on Economic Domains," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 94a37, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  14. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1950. "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 328-328.
  15. John Bone, 2003. "Simple Arrow-type propositions in the Edgeworth domain," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 20(1), pages 41-48.
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