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Ranking opportunity sets on the basis of their freedom of choice and their ability to satisfy preferences: A difficulty

  • Nicolas Gravel

    ()

    (THEMA, UniversitÊ de Cergy-Pontoise, 33, Boulevard du Port, F-95 011 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex, France)

This paper examines a possibility of enlarging the domain of definition of individual preferences suggested by the recent literature on freedom of choice. More specifically, the possibility for an individual to have preferences that depend upon both the opportunity set that she faces and the particular alternative that she chooses from that set is considered. Even more specifically, the possibility for these preferences to value freedom of choice, as defined by the set theoretic relation of inclusion, while being consistent, in a certain sense, with the existence of a preference ordering over the options contained in opportunity sets is investigated. It is shown in the paper that a necessary condition for the existence of any transitive extended preferences of this type is for freedom of choice to be given no intrinsic importance.

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

Volume (Year): 15 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 371-382

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:15:y:1998:i:3:p:371-382
Note: Received: 22 November 1995 / Accepted: 11 January 1997 received also helpful comments from Pierre Dehez, Marc Fleurbaey and Alain Trannoy. Of course the usual disclaimer applies. This paper originates from the second chapter of my doctoral dissertation at the University of British Columbia. Financial support from Canadian SSHRC (award no. 753-91-0155), University of British Columbia and UniversitÊ Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) is gratefully acknowledged.
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