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The Possibility of Ordering Infinite Utility Streams

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  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • SPRUMONT, Yves
  • SUZUMURA, Kotaro

Abstract

This paper revisits Diamond’s classical impossibility result regarding the ordering of infinite utility streams. We show that if no representability condition is imposed, there do exist strongly Paretian and finitely anonymous orderings of intertemporal utility streams with attractive additional properties. We extend a possibility theorem due to Svensson to a characterization theorem and we provide characterizations of all strongly Paretian and finitely anonymous rankings satisfying the strict transfer principle. In addition, infinitehorizon extensions of leximin and of utilitarianism are characterized by adding an equitypreference axiom and finite translation-scale measurability, respectively, to strong Pareto and finite anonymity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 12-2004.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:12-2004

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Related research

Keywords: intergenerational justice; multi-period social choice; leximin; utilitarianism;

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References

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  1. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. 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.
  3. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  4. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 2002. "Utilitarianism and the theory of justice," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 543-596 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. d’ASPREMONT, Claude, 2005. "Formal welfarism and intergenerational equity," CORE Discussion Papers 2005075, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2005. "Possibility Theorems for Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams Equitably," Working Papers 05-05, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  3. Mabrouk, Mohamed, 2006. "Allais-anonymity as an alternative to the discounted-sum criterion in the calculus of optimal growth I: Consensual optimality," MPRA Paper 10512, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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