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An informationally parsimonious impartial observer theorem

  • Edi Karni

    (Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA)

  • John A. Weymark

    (Department of Economics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z1)

In Harsanyi's impartial observer theorem, an impartial observer determines a social ordering of the lotteries on the set of social alternatives based on a sympathetic but impartial concern for all individuals in society. This ordering is derived from a more primitive ordering on the set of all extended lotteries. An extended lottery is a lottery which determines both the observer's personal identity and the social alternative. We establish a version of Harsanyi's theorem in which the observer is only required to have preferences on the extended lotteries in which there is an equal chance of being any person in society.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 15 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 321-332

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:15:y:1998:i:3:p:321-332
Note: Received: 19 June 1996 / Accepted: 30 December 1996
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