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Reference-price-independent welfare prescriptions


  • Blackorby, Charles
  • Laisney, François
  • Schmachtenberg, Rolf


A number of studies have evaluated the social welfare impact of price and income changes using equivalent incomes that are computed at some reference price vector, and an aggregator with these equivalent incomes as arguments in place of a social welfare function. This paper investigates the impact of the choice of the reference price vector on the results of such exercises, distinguishing the case of individualized prices from the constrained case where all individuals face the same price vector. We characterize preferences and aggregators leading to reference-price-independent welfare prescriptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackorby, Charles & Laisney, François & Schmachtenberg, Rolf, 1991. "Reference-price-independent welfare prescriptions," ZEW Discussion Papers 91-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:9104

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    1. Ugo Colombino & Daniela del Boca, 1990. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in Italy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 390-414.
    2. W. M. Gorman, 1968. "The Structure of Utility Functions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 367-390.
    3. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Money metric utility: A harmless normalization?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 120-129, October.
    4. Roberts, Kevin, 1980. "Price-Independent Welfare Prescriptions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 277-297, June.
    5. Willig, Robert D, 1981. "Social Welfare Dominance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 200-204, May.
    6. John Muellbauer, 1974. "Inequality Measures, Prices and Household Composition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 493-504.
    7. King, Mervyn A., 1983. "Welfare analysis of tax reforms using household data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 183-214, July.
    8. Weymark, John A, 1985. "Money-Metric Utility Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 219-232, February.
    9. Slivinski, Alan D., 1983. "Income distribution evaluation and the law of one price," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 103-112, February.
    10. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 1994. "The evolution of the standard of living in Spain, 1973-74 to 1980-81," UC3M Working papers. Economics 2909, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. John Creedy & Nicolas Hérault, 2011. "Decomposing Inequality and Social Welfare Changes: The Use of Alternative Welfare Metrics," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Olivier Bargain & André Decoster & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Welfare, labor supply and heterogeneous preferences: evidence for Europe and the US," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(4), pages 789-817, October.
    4. Laisney, François & Mühleisen, Martin & Staat, Matthias & Vögele, Stefan, 1992. "Simulation of reforms of direct and indirect taxation for France," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-07, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Cormac O'Dea & Ian Preston, 2012. "The distributional impact of public spending in the UK," IFS Working Papers W12/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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