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Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with Inter-generational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian

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  • Basu, Kaushik

    (Cornell U)

  • Mitra, Tapan

    (Cornell U)

Abstract

It has been known that, in aggregating infinite utility streams, there does not exist any social welfare function, which satisfies the axioms of Pareto, inter-generational equity and continuity. We show that the impossibility result persists even without imposing the continuity axiom, and in frameworks allowing for more general domains of utilities than those used in the existing literature.

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Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-03.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:03-03

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  1. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  2. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
  3. Basu Kaushik, 1994. "Group Rationality, Utilitarianism, and Escher's Waterfall," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-9, July.
  4. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Stuart Burness, H., 1973. "Impatience and the preference for advancement in the timing of satisfactions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(5), pages 495-507, October.
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