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Continuity and egalitarianism in the evaluation of infinite utility streams. (English) Zbl 1163.91347
Summary: There exists a utilitarian tradition à la Sidgwick of treating equal generations equally. Diamond showed that there exists no social evaluation ordering over infinite utility streams in the presence of the Pareto principle, the Sidgwick principle, and continuity. Instead of requiring the Sidgwick principle of procedural fairness, we focus on two principles of distributional egalitarianism along the line of the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle and the Lorenz domination principle, and show that there exists no social evaluation relation satisfying one of these egalitarian principles and the weakened continuity and rationality axioms even in the absence of the Pareto principle.

MSC:
91B14 Social choice
91B16 Utility theory
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