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Utilitarianism or Welfarism: Does it Make a Difference?

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  • Nicolas Gravel

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Patrick Moyes

    () (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We show that it is possible to reconcile the utilitarian and welfarist principles under the requirement of unanimity provided that the set of profiles over which the consensus is attained is rich enough. More precisely, we identify a closedness condition which, if satisfied by a class of n-tuples of utility functions, guarantees that the rankings of social states induced by utilitarian and welfarist unanimities over that class are identical. We illustrate the importance of the result for the measurement of unidimensional as well as multidimensional inequalities from a dominance point of view.

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  • Nicolas Gravel & Patrick Moyes, 2011. "Utilitarianism or Welfarism: Does it Make a Difference?," Working Papers halshs-00634010, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00634010
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00634010
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    Cited by:

    1. Gravel, Nicolas & Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "Ethically robust comparisons of bidimensional distributions with an ordinal attribute," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1384-1426.
    2. Mathieu Faure & Nicolas Gravel, 2021. "Reducing Inequalities Among Unequals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 357-404, February.
    3. Karsu, Özlem & Morton, Alec & Argyris, Nikos, 2018. "Capturing preferences for inequality aversion in decision support," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 264(2), pages 686-706.
    4. Andrea Gallice, 2019. "Bankruptcy problems with reference-dependent preferences," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 48(1), pages 311-336, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unanimity; Utilitarianism; Welfarism; Stochastic Dominance; Inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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