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Ordering infinite utility streams comes at the cost of a non-Ramsey set

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  • Lauwers, Luc

Abstract

The existence of a Paretian and finitely anonymous ordering in the set of infinite utility streams implies the existence of a non-Ramsey set (a non-constructive object whose existence requires The Axiom of Choice). Therefore, each Paretian and finitely anonymous quasi-ordering either is incomplete or does not have an explicit description. Hence, the possibility results of Svensson [Svensson, L.G., 1980. Equity among generations. Econometrica 48, 1251-1256] and of Bossert et al. [Bossert, W., Sprumont, Y., Suzumura, K., 2007. Ordering infinite utility streams. Journal of Economic Theory 135 (1), 579-589] do require The Axiom of Choice.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Mathematical Economics.

Volume (Year): 46 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 32-37

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Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:46:y:2010:i:1:p:32-37

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jmateco

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Keywords: Intergenerational justice Pareto Multi-period social choice Axiom of choice Constructivism;

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  1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1979. "Equilibrium in supergames with the overtaking criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-9, August.
  2. Geir Asheim & Tapan Mitra & Bertil Tungodden, 2012. "Sustainable recursive social welfare functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 267-292, February.
  3. K. Vela Velupillai, 2004. "The unreasonable ineffectiveness of mathematics in economics," Department of Economics Working Papers 0406, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  4. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Utilitarianism for Infinite Utility Streams: A New Welfare Criterion and Its Axiomatic Characterization," Working Papers 03-05, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  5. Lauwers, Luc & Vallentyne, Peter, 2004. "Infinite Utilitarianism: More Is Always Better," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(02), pages 307-330, October.
  6. Bossert, Walter & Sprumont, Yves & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2007. "Ordering infinite utility streams," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 579-589, July.
  7. Asheim, Geir B. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2005. "A new equity condition for infinite utility streams and the possibility of being Paretian," Memorandum 08/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
  9. Fleurbaey, Marc & Michel, Philippe, 2003. "Intertemporal equity and the extension of the Ramsey criterion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 777-802, September.
  10. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  11. 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.
  12. Zame, William R., 2007. "Can intergenerational equity be operationalized?," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), June.
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