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Multi-Profile Intergenerational Social Choice

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  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • SUZUMURA, Kotaro

Abstract

Ferejohn and Page transplanted a stationarity axiom from Koopmans’ theory of impatience into Arrow’s social choice theory with an infinite horizon and showed that the Arrow axioms and stationarity lead to a dictatorship by the first generation. We prove that the negative implications of their stationarity axiom are more far-reaching: there is no Arrow social welfare function satisfying their stationarity axiom. We propose a more suitable stationarity axiom, and show that an Arrow social welfare function satisfies this modified version if and only if it is a lexicographic dictatorship where the generations are taken into consideration in chronological order.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2008-08.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2008-08

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Keywords: Multi-Profile Social Choice; Infinite-Horizon Intergenerational Choice; Lexicograic Dictatorshi.;

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References

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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Utilitarianism for Infinite Utility Streams: A New Welfare Criterion and Its Axiomatic Characterization," Working Papers 03-05, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  2. Kirman, Alan P. & Sondermann, Dieter, 1972. "Arrow's theorem, many agents, and invisible dictators," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 267-277, October.
  3. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  4. 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.
  5. Kotaro Suzumura, 1999. "Welfare Economics Beyond Welfarist-Consequentialism," Discussion Paper Series a382, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Chiaki Hara & Tomoichi Shinotsuka & Kotaro Suzumura & Yongsheng Xu, 2008. "Continuity and egalitarianism in the evaluation of infinite utility streams," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 179-191, August.
  7. Asheim, Geir B. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2005. "A new equity condition for infinite utility streams and the possibility of being Paretian," Memorandum 08/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Hammond, Peter J, 1976. "Equity, Arrow's Conditions, and Rawls' Difference Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 793-804, July.
  9. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Campbell, Donald E., 1990. "Intergenerational social choice without the Pareto principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 414-423, April.
  11. Bossert, Walter & Sprumont, Yves & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2007. "Ordering infinite utility streams," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 579-589, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Bossert, Walter & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2009. "Decisive coalitions and coherence properties," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 427, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Susumu Cato, 2013. "Social choice, the strong Pareto principle, and conditional decisiveness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 563-579, October.

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