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Money-metric utilitarianism

  • Christopher Chambers

    ()

  • Takashi Hayashi

    ()

We discuss a method of ranking allocations in economic environments which applies when we do not know the names or preferences of individual agents. We require that two allocations can be ranked with the knowledge only of agents present, their aggregate bundles, and community indifference sets—a condition we refer to as aggregate independence. We also postulate a basic Pareto and continuity property, and a property stating that when two disjoint economies and allocations are put together, the ranking in the large economy should be consistent with the rankings in the two smaller economies (reinforcement). We show that a ranking method satisfies these axioms if and only if there is a probability measure over the strictly positive prices for which the rule ranks allocations on the basis of the random-price money-metric utilitarian rule. This is a rule which computes the money-metric utility for each agent at each price, sums these, and then takes an expectation according to the probability measure. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00355-011-0554-1
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 809-831

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:39:y:2012:i:4:p:809-831
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  1. Marc Fleurbaey & Fran�ois Maniquet, 2006. "Fair Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83.
  2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "Arrovian Aggregation in Economic Environments: How Much Should We Know About Indifference Surfaces?," Discussion Papers 2002-10, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Money metric utility: A harmless normalization?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 120-129, October.
  4. Young, H Peyton, 1974. "A Note on Preference Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 1129-31, November.
  5. Samuelson, Paul A, 1974. "Complementarity-An Essay on the 40th Anniversary of the Hicks-Allen Revolution in Demand Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1255-89, December.
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  8. Donaldson, David, 1992. "On The Aggregation Of Money Measures Of Well-Being In Applied Welfare Economics," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 17(01), July.
  9. Chipman, John S & Moore, James C, 1980. "Compensating Variation, Consumer's Surplus, and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 933-49, December.
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  12. Maskin, Eric, 1978. "A Theorem on Utilitarianism," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 93-96, February.
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