Social choice and just institutions: New perspectives

Economics and Philosophy 23 (1):15-43 (2007)

Authors
Marc Fleurbaey
Princeton University
Abstract
It has become accepted that social choice is impossible in the absence of interpersonal comparisons of well-being. This view is challenged here. Arrow obtained an impossibility theorem only by making unreasonable demands on social choice functions. With reasonable requirements, one can get very attractive possibilities and derive social preferences on the basis of non-comparable individual preferences. This new approach makes it possible to design optimal second-best institutions inspired by principles of fairness, while traditionally the analysis of optimal second-best institutions was thought to require interpersonal comparisons of well-being. In particular, this approach turns out to be especially suitable for the application of recent philosophical theories of justice formulated in terms of fairness, such as equality of resources
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DOI 10.1017/s0266267107001204
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If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're so Rich.G. A. Cohen - 2000 - The Journal of Ethics 4 (1-2):1-26.
What is Equality? Part 2: Equality of Resources.Ronald Dworkin - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (4):283 - 345.

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