Shared destinies and the measurement of social risk equity

Abstract

The evaluation of social risk equity for alternative probability distributions over the potential sets of fatalities is analyzed axiomatically. Fishburn and Straffin (Equity considerations in public risks valuation, Operations Research 37:229–239, 1989) have identified a necessary and sufficient condition for two social risk distributions to be judged to be socially indifferent whenever their associated distributions of risk of death for individuals and for the number of fatalities are the same. It is argued that this approach does not permit society to exhibit any concern for the number of people an individual perishes with. A weakening of the Fishburn–Straffin condition that is compatible with a concern for shared destinies is proposed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bian, W.-Q., & Keller, L. R. (1999). Chinese and Americans agree on what is fair, but disagree on what is best in societal decisions affecting health and safety risks. Risk Analysis, 19, 439–452.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bommier, A., & Zuber, S. (2008). Can preferences for catastrophe avoidance reconcile social discounting with intergenerational equity? Social Choice and Welfare, 31, 415–434.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Broome, J. (1982). Equity in risk bearing. Operations Research, 30, 412–414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Fishburn, P. C. (1984). Equity axioms for public risks. Operations Research, 32, 901–908.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Fishburn, P. C., & Sarin, R. K. (1991). Dispersive equity and social risk. Management Science, 37, 751–769.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Fishburn, P. C., & Sarin, R. K. (1994). Fairness and social risk I: unaggregated analyses. Management Science, 40, 1174–1188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Fishburn, P. C., & Straffin, P. D. (1989). Equity considerations in public risks evaluation. Operations Research, 37, 229–239.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Fleurbaey, M. (2006). Assessing risky social decisions, unpublished manuscript. Centre de Recherche Sens, Éthique, Société, Université Paris 5.

  9. Harvey, C. M. (1985). Preference functions for catastrophe and risk inequity. Large Scale Systems, 8, 131–146.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Keeney, R. L. (1980a). Equity and public risk. Operations Research, 28, 527–534.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Keeney, R. L. (1980b). Evaluating alternatives involving potential fatalities. Operations Research, 28, 188–205.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Keeney, R. L. (1980c). Utility functions for equity and public risk. Management Science, 26, 345–353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Keeney, R. L., & Winkler, R. L. (1985). Evaluating decision strategies for equity of public risks. Operations Research, 33, 955–970.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Keller, L. R., & Sarin, R. K. (1988). Equity in social risk: some empirical observations. Risk Analysis, 8, 135–146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Keller, L. R., & Sarin, R. K. (1995). Fair processes for societal decisions involving distributional inequalities. Risk Analysis, 15, 49–59.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Sarin, R. K. (1985). Measuring equity in public risk. Operations Research, 33, 210–217.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Sen, A. (1973). On economic inequality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John A. Weymark.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gajdos, T., Weymark, J.A. & Zoli, C. Shared destinies and the measurement of social risk equity. Ann Oper Res 176, 409–424 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-009-0588-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Social risk evaluation
  • Social risk equity
  • Public risk
  • Shared destinies