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Equivalent income versus equivalent lifetime: does the metric matter?

Harun Onder (), Pierre Pestieau () and Grégory Ponthière
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Grégory Ponthière: PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12

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Abstract: We examine the e¤ects of the postulated metric on the measurement of well-being, by comparing, in the (income, lifetime) space, two indexes: the equivalent income index and the equivalent lifetime index. Those in- dexes are shown to satisfy di¤erent properties concerning interpersonal well-being comparisons, which can lead to contradictory rankings. While those incompatibilities arise under distinct indi¤erence maps, we also ex- plore the e¤ects of the metric while relying on a unique indi¤erence map, and show that, even in that case, the postulated metric matters for the measurement of well-being. That point is illustrated by quantifying, by those two indexes, the (average) well-being loss due to the Syrian War. Relying on a particular metric leads, from a quantitative perspective, to di¤erent pictures of the deprivation due to the War.

Keywords: well-being; measurement; equivalent income; value of life (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-ltv
Date: 2019-07
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02187803
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