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Abstract for:

The Tyranny Puzzle in Welfare Economics: An empirical investigation

Frank A Cowell, Marc  Fleurbaey, Bertil Tungodden, May 2010
Paper No' PEP 05: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Keywords: social welfare; aggregation, questionnaire, income distribution

JEL Classification: H20, H21.

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: Public Economics Programme Papers
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Abstract:

We address a puzzle in welfare economics – the possibility that rational people may be simultaneously against two apparently con‡icting forms of “tyranny.” In fact the two types of tyranny can be reconciled but at the possible cost of con‡ict with other standard welfare principles. We examine whether such con‡icts do arise using a questionnaire-experimental study. Our study shows that both tyrannies are rejected by a majority of the parti- cipants, and in many cases also pose a practical problem in moral reasoning