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Welfare Comparisons of Income Distributions and Family Size

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).

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Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0702.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jan 2007
Date of revision: 16 Jan 2007
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0702
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  1. Duclos, J. & Makdissi, P., 1999. "Sequential Stochastic Dominance and the Robustness of Poverty Orderings," Papers 99/6, New South Wales - School of Economics.
  2. M. Fleurbaey & C. Hagneré & A. Trannoy, 1998. "Welfare comparisons with bounded equivalence scales," THEMA Working Papers 98-23, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Ooghe, Erwin & Lambert, Peter, 2006. "On bounded dominance criteria," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 15-30, July.
  4. Patrick MOYES (GREThA et IDEP Marseille), 2011. "Comparisons of Heterogeneous Distributions and Dominance Criteria," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-23, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  5. Anthony Shorrocks, 2004. "Inequality and welfare evaluation of heterogeneous income distributions," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 193-218, July.
  6. Shorrocks, Anthony, 2004. "Inequality and Welfare Evaluation of Heterogeneous Income Distributions," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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