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School of Economics and Finance

No. 812: Equality of When?

Giorgos Galanis , The University of Warwick
Roberto Veneziani , Queen Mary University of London

January 1, 2017

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This paper analyses the temporal unit of egalitarian concern. In the intertemporal context, the differences between egalitarian views can be appreciated not only in inequality analysis but also as regards the ideal egalitarian distribution to be established. In this paper, three intergenerational egalitarian principles (Complete Lives Egalitarianism, Corresponding Segments Egalitarianism and Simultaneous Segments Egalitarianism) are analysed and CSE is argued to be the appropriate egalitarian bench-mark. The relations between the three principles and other moral ideals, namely maximin and utilitarianism, are also analysed. It is proved that CLE and CSE are compatible with a concern for the worst off and, partially, with a utilitarian concern, while the adoption of SSE implies a worse trade-off between egalitarianism and the other moral ideals.

J.E.L classification codes: D63, C61

Keywords:Time, Inequality, Intertemporal setting, Difference principle