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The (Im)Possibility of a Paretian Rational

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  • Klaus Nehring

    () (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

We consider situations in which a group takes a collective decision by aggregating individual’s judgments on a set of criteria according to some agreed-upon decision functions. Assuming the criteria and the decision to be binary, we demonstrate that, except when the aggregation rule is dictatorial or the decision rule is particularly simple, such reason-based social choice must violate the Pareto principle at some profile of individual judgments. In the second part of the paper, the normative implications of this impossibility result are discussed. We argue that the normative case for the Pareto Principle is strong in situations of “shared self-interest”, but weak in situations of “shared responsibility”.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Nehring, 2005. "The (Im)Possibility of a Paretian Rational," Economics Working Papers 0068, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:ads:wpaper:0068
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Franz Dietrich, 2007. "A generalised model of judgment aggregation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(4), pages 529-565, June.
    2. Mongin, Philippe, 2008. "Factoring out the impossibility of logical aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 100-113, July.
    3. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-157, Jan.-Feb..
    5. Morris, Stephen, 1995. "The Common Prior Assumption in Economic Theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 227-253, October.
    6. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2008. "A liberal paradox for judgment aggregation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(1), pages 59-78, June.
    7. Nehring, Klaus & Puppe, Clemens, 2007. "Efficient and strategy-proof voting rules: A characterization," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 132-153, April.
    8. List, Christian & Pettit, Philip, 2002. "Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 89-110, April.
    9. Holmstrom, Bengt & Myerson, Roger B, 1983. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1799-1819, November.
    10. Nehring, Klaus & Puppe, Clemens, 2007. "The structure of strategy-proof social choice -- Part I: General characterization and possibility results on median spaces," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 269-305, July.
    11. Itzhak Gilboa & Dov Samet & David Schmeidler, 2004. "Utilitarian Aggregation of Beliefs and Tastes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 932-938, August.
    12. Peters, Hans & van der Stel, Hans & Storcken, Ton, 1992. "Pareto Optimality, Anonymity, and Strategy-Proofness in Location Problems," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 21(3), pages 221-235.
    13. Hylland, Aanund & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1979. "The Impossibility of Bayesian Group Decision Making with Separate Aggregation of Beliefs and Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1321-1336, November.
    14. Christian List, 2005. "The probability of inconsistencies in complex collective decisions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(1), pages 3-32, May.
    15. Nehring, Klaus, 2004. "The veil of public ignorance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 247-270, December.
    16. Dietrich, Franz, 2006. "Judgment aggregation: (im)possibility theorems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 286-298, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Mongin, 2012. "The doctrinal paradox, the discursive dilemma, and logical aggregation theory," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 315-355, September.
    2. Mongin, Philippe, 2008. "Factoring out the impossibility of logical aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 100-113, July.
    3. Klaus Nehring & Marcus Pivato & Clemens Puppe, 2016. "Unanimity overruled: Majority voting and the burden of history," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 28(4), pages 552-597, October.
    4. Dietrich, Franz & Mongin, Philippe, 2010. "The premiss-based approach to judgment aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 562-582, March.
    5. List, Christian & Polak, Ben, 2010. "Introduction to judgment aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 441-466, March.
    6. Nehring, Klaus, 2007. "The impossibility of a Paretian rational: A Bayesian perspective," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 45-50, July.
    7. Dietrich, Franz, 2015. "Aggregation theory and the relevance of some issues to others," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 463-493.
    8. List, Christian, 2007. "Group deliberation and the transformation of judgments: an impossibility result," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19273, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Klaus Nehring & Clemens Puppe, 2008. "Consistent judgement aggregation: the truth-functional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(1), pages 41-57, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Judgment Aggregation; Pareto Principle; Discursive Dilemma; Group Choice; Responsibility;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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