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Utilitarianism for infinite utility streams: A new welfare criterion and its axiomatic characterization

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  • Basu, Kaushik
  • Mitra, Tapan

Abstract

A definition of a utilitarian social welfare relation (SWR) for infinite utility streams is proposed. Such a relation is characterized in terms of the Pareto, Anonymity and Partial Unit Comparability Axioms. The merits of the utilitarian SWR, relative to the more restrictive SWR induced by the overtaking criterion, are examined.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 133 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 350-373

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:133:y:2007:i:1:p:350-373

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. M. Kaneko, 1984. "On interpersonal utility comparisons," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 165-175, October.
  2. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Tungodden, Bertil, 2001. "Justifying Sustainability," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 252-268, May.
  3. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GEVERS, Louis, . "Equity and the informational basis of collective choice," CORE Discussion Papers RP -350, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Basu, Kaushik, 1983. "Cardinal utility, utilitarianism, and a class of invariance axioms in welfare analysis," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 193-206, December.
  5. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  6. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with Inter-generational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Working Papers 03-03, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  7. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A, 1984. "Social Choice with Interpersonal Utility Comparisons: A Diagrammatic Introduction," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(2), pages 327-56, June.
  8. Luc Lauwers, 1996. "Rawlsian equity and generalised utilitarianism with an infinite population (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 143-150.
  9. Roberts, Kevin W S, 1980. "Interpersonal Comparability and Social Choice Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 421-39, January.
  10. Geir Asheim & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Resolving distributional conflicts between generations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 221-230, 07.
  11. Peter A. Diamond & Tjalling C. Koopmans & Richard E. Williamson, 1962. "Stationary Utility and Time Preference," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 142, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Mitra, Tapan, 2004. "Intergenerational Equity and the Forest Management Problem," Working Papers 04-17, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  13. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
  14. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Maskin, Eric, 1978. "A Theorem on Utilitarianism," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 93-96, February.
  16. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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