Fair Utilitarianism

Abstract : Utilitarianism is a prominent approach to social justice that has played a central role in economic theory. A key issue for utilitarianism is to define how utilities should be measured and compared. This paper draws on Harsanyi's approach (Harsanyi, 1955) to derive utilities from choices in risky situations. We introduce a new normalization of utilities that ensures that: 1) a transfer from a rich to a poor is welfare enhancing, and 2) populations with more risk averse people have lower welfare. We propose normative principles that reflect these fairness requirements and characterize fair utilitarianism. We also study some implications of fair utilitarianism for risk sharing and collective risk aversion.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01441070
Contributor : Lucie Label <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 3:50:41 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 10:02:09 AM
Long-term archiving on : Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 2:06:15 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01441070, version 1

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Marc Fleurbaey, Stéphane Zuber. Fair Utilitarianism. 2017. ⟨halshs-01441070v1⟩

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