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Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, Any Non‐welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle: Reply, 112 J. Pol. Econ. 249 (2004).

Abstract: In our 2001 article in the Journal of Political Economy, we show that any non-welfarist method of policy assessment violates the Pareto principle. In their Comment, Fleurbaey, Tungodden, and Chang question whether our result is fully general without imposing what they regard to be strong assumptions (transitivity and independence). However, as we explain in this Reply, their argument is irrelevant to the thrust of our article. Specifically, their argument concedes that if any particular society uses any non-welfarist principle, there may be a conflict with the Pareto principle. This result means that the vast multitude of principles proposed by policy-makers, philosophers, and others indeed fall within our demonstration.