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

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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Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0312.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0312
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  2. Marc Fleurbaey & Fran�Ois 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, 06.
  3. Marc Fleurbaey & Francois Maniquet, 2002. "Fair Income Tax," Economics Working Papers 0021, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  4. Cécile Boyer & Christian Gourieroux & Gaëlle Le Fol, 2001. "Ajustement des prix bid et ask en présence d'information privée," Working Papers 2001-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  7. Marc Fleurbaey, 2001. "The Pazner-Schmeidler Social Ordering: A Defense," Working Papers 328, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
  8. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
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  11. Fields, Gary S & Fei, John C H, 1978. "On Inequality Comparisons," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 303-16, March.
  12. Meyer, Jack, 1977. "Second Degree Stochastic Dominance with Respect to a Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 477-87, June.
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  14. Hammond, Peter J, 1976. "Equity, Arrow's Conditions, and Rawls' Difference Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 793-804, July.
  15. Marc Fleurbaey & Alain Trannoy, 2003. "The impossibility of a Paretian egalitarian," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 243-263, October.
  16. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
  17. Marc Fleurbaey, 2003. "On the informational basis of social choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 347-384, October.
  18. Cécile Boyer & Christian Gourieroux & Gaëlle Le Fol, 2001. "Ajustement des prix bid et ask en présence d'information privée," Working Papers 2001-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  19. 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.
  20. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, March.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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