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An Experiment In Multiattribute Utility Theory


  • Delforce, Robert J.
  • Hardaker, J. Brian


A version of multiattribute utility theory is evaluated as an aid to social decision making using an Australian case study. A multiattribute utility function is assessed over the descriptive, discrete decision alternatives of the decision problem rather than over the risky consequences of the attributes as in the standard approach. The evaluation is made first from the perspective of the decision analysts as a test of the feasibility of the method, and second, from the perspective of social decision makers as a test of the value of the analysis to them. Several difficulties arose in administering the procedure, and the decision makers were sceptical about the derived prescriptions. Nevertheless, the research findings appear to support the proposition that multiattribute utility theory should be viewed as more than merely a normative device for social decision making by experts.

Suggested Citation

  • Delforce, Robert J. & Hardaker, J. Brian, 1985. "An Experiment In Multiattribute Utility Theory," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 29(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ajaeau:22330

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Marcus Fleming, 1957. "Cardinal Welfare and Individualistic Ethics: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 355-355.
    2. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
    3. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gomez, Carlos Mario & Gutierrez, Carlos, 2011. "Enhancing Irrigation Efficiency but Increasing Water Use: The Jevons' Paradox," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114622, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Gomez Gomez, Carlos Mario & Gutierrez, Carlos, 2008. "The MODERE Model and The Economic Analysis of Farmers’ Decisions," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6492, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Tavana, Madjid & Di Caprio, Debora, 2016. "Modeling synergies in multi-criteria supplier selection and order allocation: An application to commodity tradingAuthor-Name: Sodenkamp, Mariya A," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 254(3), pages 859-874.
    4. Hayashi, Kiyotada, 2000. "Multicriteria analysis for agricultural resource management: A critical survey and future perspectives," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 486-500, April.
    5. repec:wsi:wepxxx:v:04:y:2018:i:01:n:s2382624x17500035 is not listed on IDEAS

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