The tyranny of non-aggregation versus the tyranny of aggregation in social choices: A real dilemma

Marc Fleurbaey, Bertil Tungodden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Can a tiny gain to sufficiently many well-off justify imposing a much larger sacrifice on the worst-off? We show that if one answers negatively to such a question and endorses replication invariance, one is forced to accept the maximin principle and give full priority to the worst-off even when a tiny gain to the worst-off imposes a substantial sacrifice on arbitrarily many well-off. If one dislikes this consequence, one faces a real dilemma in choosing between the tyranny of aggregation and the tyranny of non-aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-414
Number of pages16
JournalEconomic Theory
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

Keywords

  • Aggregation
  • Maximin
  • Social choice
  • Utilitarianism

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