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Extreme inequality aversion without separability

  • Kristof Bosmans

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Hammond (J Econ Theory 11, 465–467, 1975), Meyer (J Econ Theory 11, 119–132, 1975), and Lambert (The distribution and redistribution of income, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2001) provide the formal result connecting leximin and the idea of extreme inequality aversion for social preferences of the expected utility type. Using an analogous approach, we show that for social preferences not necessarily satisfying the separability axiom that underlies expected utility theory, the case of extreme inequality aversion is covered by the class of weakly maximin social preferences——i.e., the class of social preferences that give priority to the worst off in all cases in which the worst off is not indifferent.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics in its series Public Economics Working Paper Series with number extrin.

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Length: 6 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Economic Theory.
Handle: RePEc:wpe:papers:extrin
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  1. Kristof Bosmans, 2005. "Comparing degrees of inequality aversion," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0517, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  3. Hammond, Peter J., 1975. "A note on extreme inequality aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 465-467, December.
  4. Meyer, Jack, 1975. "Increasing risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 119-132, August.
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