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Impossibilities of Paretian Social Welfare Functions for Infinite Utility Streams with Distributive Equity

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  • Sakamoto, Norihito

Abstract

This paper examines the logical relationship between distributive equity and efficiency in aggregating infinite utility streams. Our main results show that there exist social welfare functions which satisfy the axioms of Pigou-Dalton Transfer Principle and a weak version of efficiency, but there exists no social welfare function which satisfies all of the distributive equity requirements and Weak Pareto Principle at the same time. Thus, we can prove that no Paretian ranking can satisfy the numerical representability and all of the distributive equity properties in the setting of intertemporal social choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Sakamoto, Norihito, 2011. "Impossibilities of Paretian Social Welfare Functions for Infinite Utility Streams with Distributive Equity," Discussion Papers 2011-09, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:econdp:2011-09
    Note: This Version: August, 2011
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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/19290/1/070econDP11-09.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Geir B. Asheim, 2010. "Intergenerational Equity," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 197-222, September.
    2. Geir Asheim & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Resolving distributional conflicts between generations," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(1), pages 221-230, July.
    3. Fleurbaey, Marc & Michel, Philippe, 2001. "Transfer principles and inequality aversion, with an application to optimal growth," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-11, July.
    4. José Carlos R. Alcantud & María D. García-Sanz, 2013. "Evaluations of Infinite Utility Streams: Pareto Efficient and Egalitarian Axiomatics," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 432-447, July.
    5. Fleurbaey, Marc & Michel, Philippe, 2003. "Intertemporal equity and the extension of the Ramsey criterion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 777-802, September.
    6. Asheim, Geir B. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2005. "A new equity condition for infinite utility streams and the possibility of being Paretian," Memorandum 08/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Alcantud, José Carlos R., 2012. "Inequality averse criteria for evaluating infinite utility streams: The impossibility of Weak Pareto," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 353-363.
    8. Toyotaka Sakai, 2006. "Equitable Intergenerational Preferences on Restricted Domains," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 41-54, August.
    9. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-1256, July.
    10. Bossert, Walter & Sprumont, Yves & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2007. "Ordering infinite utility streams," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 579-589, July.
    11. Luc Lauwers, 1997. "Continuity and equity with infinite horizons," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 14(2), pages 345-356.
    12. Hara, Chiaki & Shinotsuka, Tomoichi & Suzumura, Kotaro & Xu, Yongsheng, 2007. "On the Possibility of Continuous, Paretian and Egalitarian Evaluation of Infinite Utility Streams," Discussion Paper 322, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Toyotaka Sakai, 2003. "An axiomatic approach to intergenerational equity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 20(1), pages 167-176.
    14. Alcantud, José Carlos R., 2010. "The compromise efficiency vs. egalitarianism among generations with an infinite horizon," MPRA Paper 22284, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alcantud, José Carlos R., 2012. "Inequality averse criteria for evaluating infinite utility streams: The impossibility of Weak Pareto," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 353-363.
    2. repec:spr:etbull:v:1:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s40505-013-0005-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. José Carlos R. Alcantud & María D. García-Sanz, 2013. "Evaluations of Infinite Utility Streams: Pareto Efficient and Egalitarian Axiomatics," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 432-447, July.
    4. José Carlos R. Alcantud, 2013. "The impossibility of social evaluations of infinite streams with strict inequality aversion," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 1(2), pages 123-130, November.

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