On the Possibility of Continuous, Paretian and Egalitarian Evaluation of Infinite Utility Streams
Kyoto University - Institute of Economic Research
Hitotsubashi University - Institute of Economic Research; Osaka University
Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
August 12, 2006
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 07-12
There exists a utilitarian tradition a la Sidgwick of treating equal generations equally in the form of anonymity. Diamond showed that no social evaluation ordering over infinite utility streams satisfying the Pareto principle, Sidgwick's equity principle, and the axiom of continuity exists. We introduce two versions of egalitarianism in the spirit of the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle and the Lorenz domination principle, and examine their compatibility with the weak Pareto principle in the presence of a semi-continuity axiom. The social evaluation relation is not assumed to be either complete or transitive, yet Diamond's impossibility strenuously resurfaces.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
JEL Classification: D63, D71
Date posted: March 31, 2007
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