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Social choice with independent subgroup utility scales


  • John A. Weymark
  • Anna B. Khmelnitskaya


In this article, the kinds of utility comparisons that can be made may differ in distinct population subgroups. Within each subgroup, utility is either ordinally or cardinally measurable. Levels and differences of utility may or may not be interpersonally comparable within a subgroup. No utility comparisons are possible between subgroups. Given these informational assumptions, it is shown that any continuous social welfare ordering that satisfies the weak Pareto principle only depends on the utilities of one of the subgroups. The class of social welfare orderings consistent with these assumptions is determined by the scale type of the dictatorial subgroup.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. Weymark & Anna B. Khmelnitskaya, 2000. "Social choice with independent subgroup utility scales," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 17(4), pages 739-748.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:17:y:2000:i:4:p:739-748
    Note: Received: 25 May 1999/Accepted: 4 November 1999

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian List, 2002. "Intradimensional Single-Peakedness and the Multidimensional Arrow Problem," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 287-301, May.
    2. John A Weymark, 2012. "Social Welfare Functions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers vuecon-sub-13-00018, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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