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Aggregating sets of von Neumann–Morgenstern utilities

  • Danan, Eric
  • Gajdos, Thibault
  • Tallon, Jean-Marc

We analyze the preference aggregation problem without the assumption that individuals and society have fully determined and observable preferences. More precisely, we endow individuals and society with sets of possible von Neumann–Morgenstern utility functions over lotteries. We generalize the classical Pareto and Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives axioms and show they imply a generalization of the classical neutrality assumption. We then characterize the class of neutral social welfare functions. This class is considerably broader for indeterminate than for determinate utilities, where it basically reduces to utilitarianism. We finally characterize several classes of neutral social welfare functions for indeterminate utilities, including the utilitarian and “multi-utilitarian” classes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 148 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 663-688

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:148:y:2013:i:2:p:663-688
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubenstein & Ran Spiegler, 2001. "Rationalizing Choice Functions by Multiple Rationales," Economics Working Papers 0010, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  2. Juan Dubra & Fabio Maccheroni & Efe Oki, 2001. "Expected utility theory without the completeness axiom," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 11-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  3. Green, Jerry & Hojman, Daniel, 2007. "Choice, Rationality and Welfare Measurement," Working Paper Series rwp07-054, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gevers, Louis, 1977. "Equity and the Informational Basis of Collective Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 199-209, June.
  5. Philippe Mongin, 2001. "A note on mixture sets in decision theory," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 59-69, 05.
  6. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-77, May.
  7. Blau, Julian H, 1971. "Arrow's Theorem with Weak Independence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 38(152), pages 413-20, November.
  8. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
  9. Evren, Özgür & Ok, Efe A., 2011. "On the multi-utility representation of preference relations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 554-563.
  10. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
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