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Relative Utilitarianism

  • Amrita Dhillon
  • Jean-Francois Mertens

In a framework of preferences over lotteries, the authors show that an axiom system consisting of weakened versions of Arrow's axioms has a unique solution, 'relative utilitarianism.' This consists of first normalizing individual von Neumann-Morgenstern utilities between zero and one and then summing them. The weakening consists chiefly in removing from IIA the requirement that social preferences be insensitive to variations in the intensity of preferences. The authors also show the resulting axiom system to be in a strong sense independent.

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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 67 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 471-498

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:67:y:1999:i:3:p:471-498
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