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Fairness, risk preferences and independence: Impossibility theorems

  • Fudenberg, Drew
  • Levine, David K.

The most widely used economic models of social preferences are specified only for certain outcomes. There are two obvious methods of extending them to lotteries. If we do so by expected utility theory, so that the independence axiom is satisfied, our results imply that the resulting preferences do not exhibit ex ante fairness. If we do so by replacing certain outcomes with their expected utilities for each individual, so that individual risk preferences are preserved, then ex ante fairness may be preserved, but neither the independence axiom nor ex post fairness is satisfied. Both ex ante and ex post fairness can be satisfied but then the individual does not have well defined preferences over own lotteries.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 606-612

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:2:p:606-612
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  1. Marc Fleurbaey, 2010. "Assessing Risky Social Situations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 649-680, 08.
  2. Simon Grant & Atsushi Kajii & Ben Polak & Zvi Safra, 2006. "Generalized Utilitarianism and Harsanyi’s Partial Observer Theorem," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1578, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2002. "Individual Sense of Justice: A Utility Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 263-284, January.
  4. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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  8. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, . "Revealed Altruism," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-09, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Jul 2007.
  9. Gary E. Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2000. "Fair Procedures. Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 483.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  17. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
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