A theory of fairness and social welfare.

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  • Author(s): Fleurbaey, Marc (F-PARIS5-CER) Fleurbaey, Marc (F-PARIS5-CER) AMS Author Profile; Maniquet, François (B-UCL-O) Maniquet, François (B-UCL-O) AMS Author Profile
  • Online Access:
  • Series:
    Econometric Society Monographs, 48.
  • Publication Date:
    20110101
  • Publication Information:
    Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
  • Language:
    English
  • Document Type:
    Book
  • Additional Information
    • Authors' Affiliation:
      (F-PARIS5-CER) Centre de Recherche Sens, Éthique, Société (CERSES), Université de Paris V (René Descartes)
      (B-UCL-O) Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), Université Catholique de Louvain
    • Abstract:
      From the introduction: ``The first chapter of this book maps out the field of welfare economics and social choice theory and explains how our approach relates to, and supplements, the existing approaches. Social choice theory has been dubbed the `science of the impossible,' and we explain in particular why, in our view, there is much room for interesting possibilities. It is now well known that obtaining possibility results has to do with the information that is used by the criteria. The fourth chapter examines the informational basis of our approach with greater detail, after some general results of the approach have been presented in the second and third chapters. \par ``Our focus in the first part of the book is the canonical model of distribution of unproduced goods. This model is simple but useful as a basic tool for the analysis of multidimensional problems. Some of the results we obtain with it are recurrent in all contexts. Moreover, it is sufficiently abstract to be versatile, and some results can be easily transposed to other contexts---for instance, when goods are replaced by functionings in the description of individual situations. \par ``The second and third chapters present two basic results that are pervasive in our approach, as they come up in some way or other in all economic models that have been studied so far. The first basic result is a conflict between the idea of reducing resource inequalities across individuals and the Pareto principle. This efficiency---equality tension is due to the fact that with heterogeneous preferences, resource inequalities do not always obviously translate into inequalities in the relevant interpersonally comparable measure. \par ``The second basic result is that the combination of the Pareto principle and some mild requirements that impose a minimal inequality aversion (namely, it must be positive, or even simply nonnegative) force the social criteria to actually have an infinite aversion to inequality, as in the maximin criterion. The literature on social welfare contains justifications of the maximin and the leximin criteria that involve rather strong egalitarian requirements, in the one-dimensional context when individual well-being is measured by an interpersonally comparable index of income or utility. The different justification we obtain here hinges on the multidimensional context of multiple goods being allocated among individuals. \par ``The second part of the book examines the particular social rankings that can be defined for the model of distribution of unproduced goods. It considers, in turn, the case of divisible goods and the case of indivisibles. The third part introduces production, for the relatively simple case in which one output is produced with one input, such as labor. We do, however, examine in detail the case of unequal skills, which is particularly relevant for applications to public economics. As alluded to previously, the main value of defining fine-grained rankings of all allocations is the possibility of giving policy advice under any restriction of the set of feasible allocations. A particularly relevant context of application is provided by incentive constraints that arise when the public authority has imperfect information about individual characteristics. We show, in particular, how the social rankings obtained can be used for the evaluation of income tax schedules, when the population is heterogeneous in both skill levels and preferences about leisure and consumption, and such characteristics are private knowledge. This study of production deals with what is technically described as the production of a private good, but we also examine the problem of production of a public good, which is also relevant to public economics. An example of application to public good funding in the second-best context (i.e., when individuals may misrepresent their willingness to pay for the public good) is provided. \par ``In the second and third parts of the book we adopt the same methodology, which consists of defining efficiency and equity requirements and determining what kind of social rankings satisfy these requirements. Once a social ranking is obtained, it can be used for the evaluation of public policies; in the last part of the book, we focus particularly on the translation of the ranking of allocations into a ranking of policies, for standard tax-and-transfer instruments.''
    • Subject Terms:
    • Subject Terms:
    • ISBN:
      978-0-521-71534-8; 978-0-521-88742-7
    • Document Type:
      Indexed
    • Accession Number:
      MR3558473
    • Copyright:
      ©
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      FLEURBAEY, M.; MANIQUET, F. A theory of fairness and social welfare. [s.l.] : Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 17 ago. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Fleurbaey M, Maniquet F. A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; 2011. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=msn&AN=MR3558473&custid=s8280428. Accessed August 17, 2019.
    • APA:
      Fleurbaey, M., & Maniquet, F. (2011). A theory of fairness and social welfare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=msn&AN=MR3558473&custid=s8280428
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Fleurbaey, Marc, and François Maniquet. 2011. A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare. Econometric Society Monographs, 48. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=msn&AN=MR3558473&custid=s8280428.
    • Harvard:
      Fleurbaey, M. and Maniquet, F. (2011) A theory of fairness and social welfare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (Econometric Society Monographs, 48). Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=msn&AN=MR3558473&custid=s8280428 (Accessed: 17 August 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Fleurbaey, M & Maniquet, F 2011, A theory of fairness and social welfare, Econometric Society Monographs, 48, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, viewed 17 August 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Fleurbaey, Marc, and François Maniquet. A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=msn&AN=MR3558473&custid=s8280428.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Fleurbaey, Marc, and François Maniquet. A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare. Econometric Society Monographs, 48. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=msn&AN=MR3558473&custid=s8280428.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Fleurbaey M, Maniquet F. A theory of fairness and social welfare [Internet]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; 2011 [cited 2019 Aug 17]. (Econometric Society Monographs, 48). Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=msn&AN=MR3558473&custid=s8280428