Any Non-Welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle: Reply

6 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2004

See all articles by Louis Kaplow

Louis Kaplow

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Steven Shavell

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

In our 2001 article in the Journal of Political Economy, we show that any non-welfarist method of policy assessment violates the Pareto principle. In their Comment, Fleurbaey, Tungodden, and Chang question whether our result is fully general without imposing what they regard to be strong assumptions (transitivity and independence). However, as we explain in this Reply, their argument is irrelevant to the thrust of our article. Specifically, their argument concedes that if any particular society uses any non-welfarist principle, there may be a conflict with the Pareto principle. This result means that the vast multitude of principles proposed by policy-makers, philosophers, and others indeed fall within our demonstration.

JEL Classification: D63, H43

Suggested Citation

Kaplow, Louis and Shavell, Steven, Any Non-Welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle: Reply (January 2004). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 455; Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 91. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=500142 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.500142

Louis Kaplow

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4101 (Phone)
617-496-4880 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/facdir.php?id=32&show=bibliography

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Steven Shavell (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3668 (Phone)
617-496-2256 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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