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Popular support for social evaluation functions

Rafael Salas () and Juan Rodríguez ()

Social Choice and Welfare, 2013, vol. 40, issue 4, 985-1014

Abstract: This paper provides sufficient conditions under which the preferences of a social decision maker accord with majority voting. We show that an additive and monotone utilitarian social evaluation function is consistent with the outcomes of majority voting for the class of income distributions that are symmetric under a strictly increasing transformation. An example is the lognormal distribution. The required symmetry condition is generally accepted employing panel data for 116 countries from the World Bank’s POVCAL database.In this manner, the proposed methodology provides the consistent degree of inequality aversion and shows that median income is a good proxy for welfare. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1007/s00355-012-0669-z

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Social Choice and Welfare is currently edited by Bhaskar Dutta, Marc Fleurbaey, Elizabeth Maggie Penn and Clemens Puppe

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