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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya SenVolume I: Ethics, Welfare, and Measurement$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239115.001.0001

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Dominance Criteria for Critical‐Level Generalized Utilitarianism *

Dominance Criteria for Critical‐Level Generalized Utilitarianism *

Chapter:
(p.262) Chapter 15 Dominance Criteria for Critical‐Level Generalized Utilitarianism*
Source:
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen
Author(s):

Alain Trannoy

John A. Weymark

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239115.003.0016

Social welfare dominance criteria based on critical-level generalized utilitarian social welfare functions are investigated in this chapter. An analogue of a generalized Lorenz curve called a generalized concentration curve is introduced. For a fixed critical utility level c, a quasiordering of utility distributions based on these curves is defined and shown to coincide with the quasiordering obtained by declaring one utility distribution to be weakly preferred to a second if and only if the former is weakly preferred to the latter for all inequality averse critical-level c generalized utilitarian social welfare functions. An extension of this result that allows for a range of critical levels is also established.

Keywords:   critical-level utilitarianism, generalized Lorenz dominance, social welfare dominance, Lorenz curve, quasiordering

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