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Utilitarianism for Infinite Utility Streams: A New Welfare Criterion and Its Axiomatic Characterization

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  • Basu, Kaushik

    (Cornell U)

  • Mitra, Tapan

    (Cornell U)

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

Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-05.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:03-05

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  1. Maskin, Eric, 1978. "A Theorem on Utilitarianism," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 93-96, February.
  2. Luc Lauwers, 1996. "Rawlsian equity and generalised utilitarianism with an infinite population (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 143-150.
  3. Kaushik Basu & Tapan Mitra, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with InterGenerational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1557-1563, 09.
  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. M. Kaneko, 1984. "On interpersonal utility comparisons," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 165-175, October.
  6. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Tungodden, Bertil, 2001. "Justifying Sustainability," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 252-268, May.
  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. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  10. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
  11. Roberts, Kevin W S, 1980. "Interpersonal Comparability and Social Choice Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 421-39, January.
  12. 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.
  13. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gevers, Louis, 1977. "Equity and the Informational Basis of Collective Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 199-209, June.
  14. Mitra, Tapan, 2004. "Intergenerational Equity and the Forest Management Problem," Working Papers 04-17, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  15. Geir Asheim & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Resolving distributional conflicts between generations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 221-230, 07.
  16. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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