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On the Existence of Paretian Social Welfare Relations for Infinite Utility Streams with Extended Anonymity

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  • Basu, Kaushik

    (Cornell U)

  • Mitra, Tapan

    (Cornell U)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the restrictions that any concept of extended anonymity must satisfy in order to be compatible with the existence of a Paretian social welfare relation (SWR). We completely characterize the class of permissible permutations associated with any Paretian SWR; that is, those permutations with respect to which every utility stream is pronounced to be indifferent to the corresponding permuted utility stream, according to the Paretian SWR. Based on the characterization result, we propose a particular class of extensions of anonymity, which allows comparisons of utility streams that are related to each other by an infinite number of permutations of a specific type. The merits of this particular class of extensions are discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-06.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:05-06

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  1. Luc Lauwers, 1996. "Rawlsian equity and generalised utilitarianism with an infinite population (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 143-150.
  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  6. Lauwers, Luc, 1995. "Time-neutrality and linearity," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 347-351.
  7. Van Liedekerke, Luc & Lauwers, Luc, 1997. "Sacrificing the Patrol: Utilitarianism, Future Generations and Infinity," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 159-174, October.
  8. Lauwers, Luc, 1998. "Intertemporal objective functions: Strong pareto versus anonymity," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 37-55, January.
  9. Geir Asheim & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Resolving distributional conflicts between generations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 221-230, 07.
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