On the possibility of Paretian egalitarianism
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- Discussion papers (SAM) 
Paretian egalitarianism holds that equality should be promoted, but only when this does not conflict with certain (Pareto) efficiency considerations. Like leximin, it has the attractive feature of never favoring leveling down. It also offers the promise of avoiding leximin’s monomaniacal focus on the worst off affected person. We here show that, given certain widely accepted assumptions, certain forms of Paretian egalitarianism are incoherent and those that are coherent share leximin’s monomaniacal focus on the worst off affected person. It thus appears that Paretian egalitarianism is not a significant alternative to leximin. We end by questioning one of the assumed conditions: contraction consistency (Alpha). If this condition is rejected, Paretian Egalitarianism remains a significant alternative to leximin.
PublisherNorwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. Department of Economics