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

Listed author(s):
  • Hara, Chiaki
  • Shinotsuka, Tomoichi
  • Suzumura, Kotaro
  • Xu, Yongsheng

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.

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Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Discussion Paper with number 322.

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Length: 15 p.
Date of creation: Mar 2007
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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