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Aggregating Local Preferences to Guide Marginal Policy Adjustments

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

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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.103.3.605
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 605-10

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:605-10
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.605
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  1. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Nichole Szembrot, 2014. "Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2698-2735, September.
  2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "Arrovian Aggregation in Economic Environments: How Much Should We Know About Indifference Surfaces?," Discussion Papers 2002-10, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Feldstein, Martin, 1976. "On the theory of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 77-104.
  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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