social welfare function meaning

  "social welfare function" in a sentence
The idea that a measure of the total welfare of the members of a society could be constructed. This would be a function of the welfare of individuals, and the relation between them. Construction of such a function runs into extreme difficulties. A follower of Pareto or a utilitarian would argue, for example, that any change which made one individual better off and nobody worse off must be beneficial; but a believer in the importance of relative income might argue that £1 given to one of the richest individuals would actually decrease total welfare, as the poor would suffer more from envy than the rich would gain from extra spending.

See also:

Rawlsian social welfare function


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  1. multi-valued social welfare function
  2. social welfare function
  3. application of social welfare function in establishing policy targets for reform of medical sanitary system
  4. The approach begins with the specification of a social welfare function.
  5. The choice of a social welfare function is rooted in an ethical theory.

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