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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Workshop: Advances in stochastic dominance for welfare analysis

The seminal contributions of Kolm and Atkinson showed four decades ago how the use of stochastic dominance (SD) could help understand and compare distributions of welfare. Initially used in economics for the analysis of choice in risky environments, SD has proved to be particularly useful in those contexts in which it is difficult to agree on the measurement either of individual or of social welfare. The literature subsequent to Kolm's and Atkinson's contributions has substantially broadened the applicability of SD from inequality to social welfare, progressivity, vertical equity, poverty, horizontal equity, segregation, mobility, pro-poorness and polarization. The set of distributions of interest has also broadened; the focus now bridges both distributions of monetary indicators of welfare and multivariate distributions of quantitative and qualitative variables, with particular relevance to the study of developing countries.

In spite of its relevance and of the significant number of related publications, the approach is nevertheless only rarely used outside academia, although it may be of considerable advantage for the design of policy.

The main objective of this workshop is to review the current state of the art with respect to the use of SD techniques within the field of economic wellbeing and to shed light on recent theoretical and empirical advances using these techniques. The workshop will also provide an opportunity to discuss how the use of SD techniques can be promoted outside academia, in particular for the design of development policy.

Papers linking research and policy are particularly welcome.

Keynote speakers:

James Foster (Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University),

Alain Trannoy (EHESS and Aix-Marseille School of Economics).


Submission process:

Submissions of complete papers, in pdf format, are expected by July 1st, 2014. Submissions should be sent to Kelly Labart at Acceptance notes with detailed information will be sent by July 20, 2014.


Participation expenses (including travel expenses and accommodation) at the workshop will be covered for those invited to present papers. Travel expenses and accommodation shall be borne by other participants.

The workshop will be held at the Ecole d'Economie of the University of Auvergne and Ferdi. Presenters will be asked to comment on one of the other papers.

The workshop is organized as part of FERDI's program on Innovative Development Indicators. It will be preceded by a half day conference in Paris on September 17 where new indicators of welfare will be discussed. For additional information about this conference, please contact Kelly Labart at

Scientific committee: Gordon Anderson (University of Toronto), Conchita d'Ambrosio (INSIDE, University of Luxembourg), Florent Bresson (CERDI, University of Auvergne), Vianney Dequiedt (CERDI, University of Auvergne), Jean-Yves Duclos (CIRPEE, Laval University and Ferdi), Gaston Yalonetzky (University of Leeds)

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