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Social Welfare, Priority to the Worst-Off And the Dimensions of Individual Well-Being

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Abstract

When well-being is one-dimensional, the key ethical issue for the definition of social welfare is the degree of inequality aversion, which can be discussed with variants of the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle. When it is measured in terms of primary goods, functionings or capabilities, individual well-being is fundamentally multi-dimensional. It is then important to take account of individual preferences over the different dimensions. This has interesting consequences for the definition of social welfare. This chapter shows how the axiomatic techniques of social choice can then be used to justify particular social welfare functions and derive suitable criteria for the assessment of reforms of the Welfare State and consequences of globalization.

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  • Marc Fleurbaey, 2003. "Social Welfare, Priority to the Worst-Off And the Dimensions of Individual Well-Being," IDEP Working Papers 0312, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0312
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. François Maniquet & Yves Sprumont, 2004. "Fair Production and Allocation of an Excludable Nonrival Good," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 627-640, March.
    9. Marc Fleurbaey & Kotaro Suzumura & Koichi Tadenuma, 2005. "The informational basis of the theory of fair allocation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(2), pages 311-341, April.
    10. Mike Brewer, 2000. "Comparing in-work benefits and financial work incentives for low-income families in the US and the UK," IFS Working Papers W00/16, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. 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.
    12. Bernt Christian Brun & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Non-welfaristic theories of justice: Is “the intersection approach” a solution to the indexing impasse?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 22(1), pages 49-60, February.
    13. Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Reaffirming the Existence of "Reasonable" Bergson-Samuelson Social Welfare Functions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(173), pages 81-88, February.
    14. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2007. "Help the Low Skilled or Let the Hardworking Thrive? A Study of Fairness in Optimal Income Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 467-500, June.
    15. 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.
    16. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2006. "Fair Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83.
    17. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    18. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
    19. Marc Fleurbaey, 2005. "The Pazner-Schmeidler social ordering: A defense," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 9(2), pages 145-166, April.
    20. 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.
    21. Marc Fleurbaey & Cyrille Hagneré & Michel Martinez & Alain Trannoy, 1999. "Les minima sociaux en France : entre compensation et responsabilité," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 138(2), pages 1-23.
    22. 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.
    23. Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John Weymark, 2008. "Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism," Post-Print hal-00246415, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2006. "Is commodity taxation unfair?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1765-1787, November.

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