An axiomatic approach to the measurement of envy

By: Öztürk Z.E.
Bosmans K.G.M. (GSBE)
We characterize a class of envy measures. There are three key axioms. Decomposability requires that overall envy is the sum of the envy within and between subgroups. The other two axiomsdeal with the two-individual setting and specify how the envy measure should react to simple changes in the individuals commodity bundles. The characterized class measures the envy of oneindividual to another by the relative utility difference using the envious utility function between the bundle of the envied and the bundle of the envious. The particular utility representation to be used is fixed by the axioms. The class measures overall envy by the sum of these transformed relative utility differences. We discuss our results in the light of previous contributions to envy measurement and multidimensional inequality measurement.

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