By Marc Fleurbaey
The definition and size of social welfare were a vexed factor for the previous century. This e-book makes a confident, simply appropriate suggestion and indicates tips to assessment the commercial state of affairs of a society in a fashion that offers precedence to the worse-off and that respects every one individual's personal tastes over his or her personal intake, paintings, relaxation, etc. This strategy resonates with the present problem to head "beyond the GDP" within the size of social growth. in comparison to technical reports in welfare economics, this publication emphasizes optimistic effects instead of paradoxes and impossibilities, and exhibits how you can begin from easy ideas of potency and equity and prove with concrete reviews of guidelines. in comparison to extra philosophical remedies of social justice, this e-book is extra certain in regards to the definition of social welfare and reaches conclusions approximately concrete regulations and associations merely after a rigorous derivation from in actual fact said ideas.
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Extra info for A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare (Econometric Society Monographs)
Samuelson and Swamy (1974) and Samuelson (1974) proposed to use this number as the key ingredient of a quantity index that is convenient for tracking individual well-being accurately, in contrast with standard indices such as the Laspeyres, Paasche, or Fisher quantity indices, which do not respect individual preferences in general. Once this number has been put on the table, it is tempting to incorporate it in a social welfare function to evaluate allocations: W (m1 (z1 ), . . , mn (zn )). This has not been proposed by Samuelson, who was particularly adamant against summing up money-metric utilities across individuals, but the idea has been promoted by many authors – in particular, by Deaton and Muellbauer (1980) and King (1983).
This questions the intuition that when an agent is above another in all dimensions, he or she is undoubtedly better off. There is a paradox here. Any monotonic preference relation values a greater bundle more, so when an agent has more of every good than another, all agents are unanimous in considering that this agent has a better bundle. 5 There is a tension between different facets of the idea of respecting unanimous preferences. There are two possible ways out of the impossibility. One can weaken or forget the efficiency requirements, or adopt weaker versions of the transfer principle.
On the other hand, balanced-allocations transfer implies 3 5 2 1 4 4 R(E) zN , zN R(E) zN and zN R(E) zN , which produces a cycle. zN We conclude this analysis in the following statement that the relevant transfer axioms are not only separately, but also jointly, compatible with weak Pareto and even with the stronger axiom of strong Pareto. Strong Pareto requires an allocation to be weakly preferred to another whenever all agents weakly prefer it. It also requires strict preference as soon as at least one agent displays strict preference.