Inequality aversion and separability in social risk evaluation
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- Fleurbaey, M. & Zuber, S. Econ Theory (2013) 54: 675. doi:10.1007/s00199-012-0730-2
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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.