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Risky social choice with approximate interpersonal comparisons of well-being

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  • Pivato, Marcus

Abstract

We develop a model of social choice over lotteries, where people's psychological characteristics are mutable, their preferences may be incomplete, and approximate interpersonal comparisons of well-being are possible. Formally, we suppose individual preferences are described by a von~Neumann-Morgenstern (vNM) preference order on a space of lotteries over psychophysical states; the social planner must construct a vNM preference order on lotteries over social states. First we consider a model when the individual vNM preference order is incomplete (so not all interpersonal comparisons are possible). Then we consider a model where the individual vNM preference order is complete, but unknown to the planner, and thus modeled by a random variable. In both cases, we obtain characterizations of a utilitarian social welfare function.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25222.

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Date of creation: 20 Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25222

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Keywords: interpersonal comparisons; social welfare; social choice; utility; utilitarian; von Neumann-Morgenstern; risk;

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  1. Blackorby, Charles, 1975. "Degrees of Cardinality and Aggregate Partial Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(5-6), pages 845-52, Sept.-Nov.
  2. Pivato, Marcus, 2010. "Aggregation of incomplete ordinal preferences with approximate interpersonal comparisons," MPRA Paper 25271, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Juan Dubra & Fabio Maacheroni & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Expected Utility Theory without the Completeness Axiom," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1294, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Lloyd S. Shapley & Manel Baucells, 1998. "Multiperson Utility," UCLA Economics Working Papers 779, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "Interpersonal Aggregation and Partial Comparability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 393-409, May.
  6. Mongin, P., . "Harsanyi's aggregation theorem: multi-profile version and unsettled questions," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1153, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Özgür Evren, 2008. "On the existence of expected multi-utility representations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 575-592, June.
  8. Pivato, Marcus, 2010. "Approximate interpersonal comparisons of well-being," MPRA Paper 25224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Sen, Amartya K, 1972. "Interpersonal Comparison and Partial Comparability: A Correction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(5), pages 959, September.
  10. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  11. repec:ubc:bricol:90-03 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Pivato, Marcus, 2011. "Social choice with approximate interpersonal comparison of welfare gains," MPRA Paper 32252, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Pivato, Marcus, 2010. "Approximate interpersonal comparisons of well-being," MPRA Paper 25224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Pivato, Marcus, 2010. "Aggregation of incomplete ordinal preferences with approximate interpersonal comparisons," MPRA Paper 25271, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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