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The impossibility of social evaluations of infinite streams with strict inequality aversion

Alcantud, José Carlos R. (2011): The impossibility of social evaluations of infinite streams with strict inequality aversion.

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Abstract

We are concerned with the problem of aggregating infinite utility streams and the possible adoption of consequentialist equity principles. We find a virtually universal incompatibility between the Basu-Mitra approach (that advocates for social welfare functions and renounces continuity assumptions) and postulates that capture various forms of strict preference for a reduction in inequality like the Strong Equity Principle, the Pigou-Dalton Transfer principle, or Altruistic Equity. We also prove that the Hara-Shinotsuka-Suzumura-Xu impossibility for semicontinuous social welfare relations remains under the latter distributional postulate.

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