We’re pleased to announce that Professor Alex Voorhoeve and a team led by Prof Norihito Sakamoto have been awarded a grant by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for a three-year research project investigating the use of social welfare functions.

In welfare economics, “social welfare functions” are used to assess the value of the outcomes of government policies, thereby providing a crucial tool in the evaluation of competing policy choices. With a team of Japanese scholars led by Professor Norohito Sakamoto of the Tokyo University of Science, Professor Alex Voorhoeve aims to investigate the use of social welfare functions for the evaluation of policy in a new three-year research project.

The new project, titled Policy Evaluation Methods Using Efficient and Equitable Social Welfare Functions, will analyse the following three topics:

  1. Policy evaluation for uncertain social situations
  2. Developing social welfare functions for assessing well-being distributions with variable populations
  3. Evaluating foundational theories of distributive justice through examining the social welfare functions to which they give rise


Funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan’s premier research funding agency, the new project will fund a series of research visits to the Centre for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Science by members of the team, as well as research visits by Professor Voorhoeve to Japan. The team is also engaged in a series of regular online work in progress seminars, the first of which took place in May of this year.