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date: 27 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The notion of equivalent income has been elaborated in the specialized context of comparing living standards of individuals in different situations regarding non-income attributes (household size, quality of life, market prices). It is defined as the income that would provide the same satisfaction as the current situation if the non-income attributes took particular reference values. Beyond the comparison of living standards, it deserves to be considered as a philosophically promising solution to the problem of interpersonal comparisons of well-being, for the context of social welfare evaluation. It appears indeed attractive when interpersonal comparisons are meant to respect individual preferences while focusing on objective functionings rather than subjective levels of satisfaction or happiness. In this chapter it is scrutinized and compared to alternative approaches: extended preferences, subjective well-being, capabilities.

Keywords: equivalent income, money-metric utility, living standards, extended preferences, subjective well-being, capabilities

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