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Welfare Comparisons of Income Distributions and Family Size

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Abstract

We investigate the problem of how to make welfare comparisons of income distributions hen a population allocation problem (how a population should be optimally divided over families for given resources) adds to the usual income allocation problem. Pro-family and anti-family stances are introduced in order to make explicit the choice of an optimal family size: the individual well-being either increases or decreases with family size for a given per capita income. We argue that one should use average individual utility, rather than average household utility. We provide dominance criteria which allow for some indeterminacy about the average optimal family size, by resorting to the bounded approach to dominance analysis proposed by Fleurbaey et al. (2003).

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Fleurbaey & Cyrille Hagneré & Alain Trannoy, 2007. "Welfare Comparisons of Income Distributions and Family Size," IDEP Working Papers 0702, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised 16 Jan 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0702
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    File URL: http://www.idep-fr.org/IMG/document/dt/dt0702.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fleurbaey, Marc & Hagnere, Cyrille & Trannoy, Alain, 2003. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 309-336, June.
    2. Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "Comparisons of heterogeneous distributions and dominance criteria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1351-1383.
    3. Jean-Yves Duclos & Paul Makdissi, 2005. "Sequential Stochastic Dominance And The Robustness Of Poverty Orderings," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 63-87, March.
    4. Ooghe, Erwin & Lambert, Peter, 2006. "On bounded dominance criteria," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 15-30, July.
    5. Anthony Shorrocks, 2004. "Inequality and welfare evaluation of heterogeneous income distributions," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(3), pages 193-218, July.
    6. Shorrocks, Anthony, 2004. "Inequality and Welfare Evaluation of Heterogeneous Income Distributions," WIDER Working Paper Series 001, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Gravel & Patrick Moyes, 2013. "Utilitarianism or welfarism: does it make a difference?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(2), pages 529-551, February.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Hagneré, Cyrille & Trannoy, Alain, 2014. "Welfare comparisons of income distributions and family size: An individualistic approach," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 12-27.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family Size; Dominance; Equivalence Scale; Welfare Comparison.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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