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Aggregating sets of von Neumann-Morgenstern

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Abstract

We analyze the aggregation problem without the assumption that individuals and society have fully determined and observable preferences. More precisely, we endow individuals ans society with sets of possible von Neumann-Morgenstern utility functions over lotteries. We generalize the classical neutrality assumption to this setting and characterize the class of neutral social welfare function. This class turns out to be considerably broader for indeterminate than for determinate utilities, where it basically reduces to utilitarianism. In particular, aggregation rules may differ by the relationship between individual and social indeterminacy. We characterize several subclasses of neutral aggregation rules and show that utilitarian rules are those that yield the least indeterminate social utilities, although they still fail to systematically yield a determinate social utility.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2010/10068.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 10068.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:10068

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Keywords: Aggregation; vNM utility; indeterminacy; neutrality; utilitarianism.;

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  1. Evren, Özgür & Ok, Efe A., 2011. "On the multi-utility representation of preference relations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 554-563.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00768894 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Eric Danan & Thibault Gajdos & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2013. "Harsanyi's aggregation theorem with incomplete preferences," THEMA Working Papers 2013-05, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Eric Danan & Thibault Gajdos & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2014. "Harsanyi's aggregation theorem with incomplete preferences," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00941799, HAL.
  4. Eric Danan & Thibault Gajdos & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2012. "Harsanyi's aggregation theorem with incomplete preferences," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00768894, HAL.

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