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Utilitarian Aggregation of Beliefs and Tastes

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  • Itzhak Gilboa
  • Dov Samet
  • David Schmeidler

Abstract

Several authors have indicated a contradiction between consistent aggregation of subjective beliefs and tastes, and a Pareto condition. We argue that the Pareto condition that implies the contradiction is not compelling. Society should not necessarily endorse a unanimous choice when it is based on contradictory beliefs. Restricting the Pareto condition to choices that only involve identical beliefs allows a utilitarian aggregation: both society`s utility function and its probability measure are linear combinations of those of the individuals.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/421173
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 112 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 932-938

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:112:y:2004:i:4:p:932-938

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  1. Hylland, Aanund & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1979. "The Impossibility of Bayesian Group Decision Making with Separate Aggregation of Beliefs and Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1321-36, November.
  2. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  3. De Meyer, Bernard & Mongin, Philippe, 1995. "A note on affine aggregation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 177-183, February.
  4. MONGIN, Philippe, . "The paradox of the Bayesian experts and state-dependent utility theory," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1312, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Mongin, P., . "Consistent Bayesian aggregation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1176, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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