Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=173768
 
 

Citations (9)



 
 

Footnotes (174)



 


 



A Liberal Theory of Social Welfare: Fairness, Utility, and the Pareto Principle


Howard F. Chang


University of Pennsylvania Law School

December 1999

University of Pennsylvania Law School, Institute for Law and Economics, Working Paper No. 272

Abstract:     
Amartya Sen has shown how liberal rights can produce outcomes that everyone would prefer to avoid, thereby violating the Pareto principle. Similarly, Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell identify potential conflicts between the Pareto principle and notions of "fairness" which give weight to considerations other than the overall utility level of each individual. Whereas Sen claims that the conflict he identifies shows the unacceptability of the Pareto principle as a universal rule, Kaplow and Shavell claim that the conflict they identify suggests a critique of all fairness notions (including liberal rights). I will argue in this paper that both claims are based on questionable premises. This paper proposes a middle course that I will argue resolves the supposed conflicts while remaining faithful to both liberal fairness principles and the Pareto principle. This paper will present an example of a social welfare function that can incorporate fairness principles and still comply with the Pareto principle.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

JEL Classification: K00, D60, D63

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: December 18, 1999  

Suggested Citation

Chang, Howard F., A Liberal Theory of Social Welfare: Fairness, Utility, and the Pareto Principle (December 1999). University of Pennsylvania Law School, Institute for Law and Economics, Working Paper No. 272. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=173768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.173768

Contact Information

Howard F. Chang (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-573-8296 (Phone)
215-573-2025 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 4,863
Downloads: 965
Download Rank: 11,920
Citations:  9
Footnotes:  174

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 1.125 seconds