Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

WHEN CONSENSUS CHOICE DOMINATES INDIVIDUALISM: Jensen's Inequality and Collective Decisions under Uncertainty

Contents:

Author Info

  • Charles F. Manski

Abstract

Research on collective provision of private goods has focused on distributional considerations. This paper studies a class of problems of decision under uncertainty in which the argument for collective choice emerges from the mathematics of aggregating individual payoffs. Consider decision making when each member of a population has the same objective function, which depends on an unknown state of nature. If agents knew the state of nature, they would make the same decision. However, they may have different beliefs or may use different decision criteria. Hence, they may choose different actions even though they share the same objective. Let the set of feasible actions be convex and the objective function be concave in actions, for all states of nature. Then Jensen's inequality implies that consensus choice of the mean privately-chosen action yields a larger aggregate payoff than does individualistic decision making, in all states of nature. If payoffs are transferable, the aggregate payoff from consensus choice may be allocated to Pareto dominate individualistic decision making, in all states of nature. I develop these ideas. I also use Jensen's inequality to show that a planner with the power to assign actions to the members of the population should not diversify. Finally, I give a version of the collective choice result that holds with consensus choice of the median rather than mean action.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15172.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15172.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Charles F. Manski, 2010. "When consensus choice dominates individualism: Jensen's inequality and collective decisions under uncertainty," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 187-202, 07.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15172

Note: PE POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & James P. Ziliak, 2009. "Policy Relevant Heterogeneity in the Value of Statistical Life: New Evidence from Panel Data Quantile Regressions," Center for Policy Research Working Papers, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University 118, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  2. Moshe Ben-Akiva & André Palma & Daniel McFadden & Maya Abou-Zeid & Pierre-André Chiappori & Matthieu Lapparent & Steven Durlauf & Mogens Fosgerau & Daisuke Fukuda & Stephane Hess & Charles Manski & , 2012. "Process and context in choice models," Marketing Letters, Springer, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 439-456, June.
  3. Hanming Fang & Peter Norman, 2014. "Toward an efficiency rationale for the public provision of private goods," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 375-408, June.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15172. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.