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On the Possibility of Continuous, Paretian and Egalitarian Evaluation of Infinite Utility Streams

Author

Listed:
  • Hara, Chiaki
  • Shinotsuka, Tomoichi
  • Suzumura, Kotaro
  • Xu, Yongsheng

Abstract

There exists a utilitarian tradition à la Sidgwick of treating equal generations equally in the form of anonymity. Diamond showed that no social evaluation ordering over infinite utility streams satisfying the Pareto principle, Sidgwick's equity principle, and the axiom of continuity exists. We introduce two versions of egalitarianism in the spirit of the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle and the Lorenz domination principle, and examine their compatibility with the weak Pareto principle in the presence of a semi-continuity axiom. The social evaluation relation is not assumed to be either complete or transitive, yet Diamond's impossibility strenuously resurfaces.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:piedp2:322
    Note: August 12, 2006, This paper is an outgrowth of our joint research which was conducted as a part of the Project on Intergenerational Equity under the auspices of the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:etbull:v:1:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s40505-013-0005-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mohamed Mabrouk, 2005. "Intergenerational anonymity as an alternative to the discounted- sum criterion in the calculus of optimal growth II: Pareto optimality and some economic interpretations," GE, Growth, Math methods 0511007, EconWPA.
    3. Mohamed Mabrouk, 2005. "Intergenerational anonymity as an alternative to the discounted- sum criterion in the calculus of optimal growth I: Consensual optimality," GE, Growth, Math methods 0510013, EconWPA.
    4. Chiaki Hara & Tomoichi Shinotsuka & Kotaro Suzumura & Yongsheng Xu, 2008. "Continuity and egalitarianism in the evaluation of infinite utility streams," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 179-191, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Tapan Mitra & M. Ozbek, 2013. "On representation of monotone preference orders in a sequence space," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(3), pages 473-487, September.
    7. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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