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Aggregating Local Preferences to Guide Marginal Policy Adjustments

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  • Daniel J. Benjamin
  • Ori Heffetz
  • Miles S. Kimball
  • Nichole Szembrot

Abstract

We propose a social choice rule for aggregating preferences elicited from surveys into a marginal adjustment of policy from the status quo. The mechanism is: (i) symmetric in its treatment of survey respondents; (ii) ordinal, using only the orientation of respondents’ indifference surfaces; (iii) local, using only preferences in the neighborhood of current policy; and (iv) what we call “first-order strategy-proof,” making the gains from misreporting preferences second order. The mechanism could be applied to guide policy based on how policy affects responses to subjective well-being surveys.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18787.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Publication status: published as Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Nichole Szembrot, 2013. "Aggregating Local Preferences to Guide Marginal Policy Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 605-10, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18787

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  1. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "Arrovian Aggregation in Economic Environments: How Much Should We Know About Indifference Surfaces?," Discussion Paper 121, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Feldstein, Martin, 1976. "On the theory of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 77-104.
  3. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Nichole Szembrot, 2012. "Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference," NBER Working Papers 18374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2083-2110, August.
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