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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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  6. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "Arrovian Aggregation in Economic Environments: How Much Should We Know About Indifference Surfaces?," Discussion Papers 2002-10, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
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  12. 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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  16. 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.
  17. Marc Fleurbaey, 2001. "The Pazner-Schmeidler Social Ordering: A Defense," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 328, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  18. Fields, Gary S & Fei, John C H, 1978. "On Inequality Comparisons," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 303-16, March.
  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.
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