Economic Theory

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 675–692

Inequality aversion and separability in social risk evaluation

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00199-012-0730-2

Cite this article as:
Fleurbaey, M. & Zuber, S. Econ Theory (2013) 54: 675. doi:10.1007/s00199-012-0730-2


This paper examines how to satisfy “independence of the utilities of the dead” (Blackorby et al. in Econometrica 63:1303–1320, 1995; Bommier and Zuber in Soc Choice Welf 31:415–434, 2008) in the class of “expected equally distributed equivalent” social orderings (Fleurbaey in J Polit Econ 118:649–680, 2010) and inquires into the possibility to keep some aversion to inequality in this context. It is shown that the social welfare function must either be utilitarian or take a special multiplicative form. The multiplicative form is compatible with any degree of inequality aversion, but only under some constraints on the range of individual utilities.


Risk Ex post equity Independence of the utilities of the dead 

JEL Classification

D63 D71 D81 

Supplementary material

199_2012_730_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (156 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 155 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.CERSES, Université Paris Descartes and CNRSParisFrance
  3. 3.Chair for Integrative Risk Management and EconomicsCenter for Economic Research, ETHZürichSwitzerland

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