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Efficiency First or Equity First?: Two Principles and Rationality of Social Choice

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  • Tadenuma, Koichi

Abstract

The Pareto efficiency criterion is often in conflict with the equity criteria as no-envy or as egalitarian-equivalence: An allocation x that is Pareto superior to another allocation y can be inferior to y in consideration of equity. This paper formalizes two differnet principles of social choice under possible conflict of efficiency and equity. The efficiency-first principle requires that we should always select from efficient allocations, and when the efficiency criterion is not at all effective as a guide for selection, i.e., when all the available allocations are efficient or there is no efficient allocation, we should apply an equity criterion to choose desirable allocations. The equity-first principle reverses the lexicographic order of application of the two criteria. We examine rationality of the social choice rules satisfying these two principles. It is shown that the degree of rationality varies widely depending on which principle the social choice rules represent. Several impossibility and possibility results as well as a characterization theorem are obtained.

Suggested Citation

  • Tadenuma, Koichi, 1998. "Efficiency First or Equity First?: Two Principles and Rationality of Social Choice," Discussion Papers 1998-01, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:econdp:1998-01
    Note: October 1996; Revised version: June 1998
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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/17031/1/070econDP98-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feldman, Allan M & Kirman, Alan, 1974. "Fairness and Envy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 995-1005, December.
    2. Diamantaras, Dimitrios & Thomson, William, 1990. "A refinement and extension of the no-envy concept," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 217-222, July.
    3. Varian, Hal R., 1974. "Equity, envy, and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, September.
    4. Suzumura, Kotaro, 1981. "On pareto-efficiency and the no-envy concept of equity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 367-379, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Houy, Nicolas & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2009. "Lexicographic compositions of multiple criteria for decision making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1770-1782, July.
    2. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2006. "Two-stage Bargaining Solutions," Working Papers 572, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. M. Vittoria Levati & Aaron Nicholas & Birendra Rai, 2011. "Testing the Analytical Framework of Other-Regarding Preferences," Monash Economics Working Papers 26-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    4. Houy Nicolas, 2007. "Rationality and Order-Dependent Sequential Rationality," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 119-134, March.
    5. Houy, Nicolas, 2011. "A refinement of prudent choices," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 166-169, May.
    6. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2005. "Arrovian aggregation in economic environments: how much should we know about indifference surfaces?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 22-44, September.
    7. Renou, Ludovic & Schlag, Karl H., 2014. "Ordients: Optimization and comparative statics without utility functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 612-632.
    8. Marc Fleurbaey & Alain Trannoy, 2003. "The impossibility of a Paretian egalitarian," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(2), pages 243-263, October.
    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. Nishimura, Yukihiro, 2003. "Optimal non-linear income taxation for reduction of envy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 363-386, February.
    11. Walter Bossert & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "An Interview with Kotaro Suzumura," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(1), pages 179-208, January.
    12. Houy, Nicolas, 2008. "A note on the Suzumura-consistency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 90-95, January.
    13. Norihito Sakamoto, 2013. "No-envy, efficiency, and collective rationality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(4), pages 1033-1045, April.
    14. Sakamoto, Norihito, 2011. "No-Envy, Efficiency, and Collective Rationality," Discussion Papers 2011-08, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    15. Nicolas Houy, 2008. "Prudent choices and rationality," Working Papers hal-00360518, HAL.
    16. Xu, Yongsheng & Yoshihara, Naoki, 2011. "Proportional Nash solutions - A new and procedural analysis of nonconvex bargaining problems," CCES Discussion Paper Series 42, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    17. Nicolas Houy, 2008. "Progressive knowledge revealed preferences and sequential rationalizability," Working Papers hal-00360546, HAL.
    18. Kristof Bosmans & Z. Emel Öztürk, 2018. "An axiomatic approach to the measurement of envy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 50(2), pages 247-264, February.
    19. Marc Fleurbaey, 2006. "To Envy or to be Envied? Refinements of No-Envy fot the Compensation Problem," IDEP Working Papers 0603, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Jul 2006.
    20. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2007. "Two criteria for social decisions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 421-447, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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