On the Possibility of Continuous, Paretian and Egalitarian Evaluation of Infinite Utility Streams

16 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2007  

Chiaki Hara

Kyoto University - Institute of Economic Research

Kotaro Suzumura

Hitotsubashi University - Institute of Economic Research; Osaka University

Yongsheng Xu

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Date Written: August 12, 2006

Abstract

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.

JEL Classification: D63, D71

Suggested Citation

Hara, Chiaki and Suzumura, Kotaro and Xu, Yongsheng, On the Possibility of Continuous, Paretian and Egalitarian Evaluation of Infinite Utility Streams (August 12, 2006). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 07-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=976021 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.976021

Chiaki Hara (Contact Author)

Kyoto University - Institute of Economic Research ( email )

Yoshida-Honmachi
Sakyo-ku
Kyoto 606-8501
Japan

Kotaro Suzumura

Hitotsubashi University - Institute of Economic Research ( email )

2-1 Naka Kunitachi-shi
Tokyo 186-8306
Japan
81-42-580-8353 (Phone)
81-42-580-8353 (Fax)

Osaka University

1-1 Yamadaoka
Suita
Osaka, 565-0871
Japan

Yongsheng Xu

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

Department of Economics
35 Broad Street, 6th Floor Department of Economics
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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