Accidents of Birth, Life Chances and the Impartial Observer
We confront two common objections to Harsanyi's impartial observer theorem; one to do with 'fairness', and the other to do with different individuals' having different attitudes toward risk. Both these objections can be accommodated if we drop the reduction axiom; in particular, if we distinguish beween 'accidents of birth' and real-world 'life chances'. We do not drop the independence axiom that has often been seen as the source of these problems. Just as Harsanyi's theorem yields a utilitarian form of social welfare function, so our approach axiomatizes a generalized utilitarian form. If in addition, welfare is cardinally measurable, then we can interpret the shape of our generalized utilitarian functional form in terms of attitudes toward risk and toward interim inequality.
|Date of creation:||May 2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 6-1 Mihogaoka, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0047|
Web page: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/index-e.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Grant, S & Kajii, A & Polak, B, 1997.
"Intrinsic Preference for Information,"
323, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
- Peter A. Diamond, 1967. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparison of Utility: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 765-765.
- Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
- Uzi Segal, 2000.
"Two Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7599, David K. Levine.
- Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-1572, October.
- Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 2000. "An extension of a theorem of von Neumann and Morgenstern with an application to social choice theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 315-327, November.
- Eichberger, Jurgen & Pethig, Rudiger, 1994.
"Constitutional choice of rules,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 311-337, July.
- Uzi Segal, 2000. "Let's Agree That All Dictatorships Are Equally Bad," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 569-589, June.
- repec:ubc:bricol:90-03 is not listed on IDEAS
- Epstein, Larry G & Segal, Uzi, 1992. "Quadratic Social Welfare Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 691-712, August.
- Myerson, Roger B, 1981. "Utilitarianism, Egalitarianism, and the Timing Effect in Social Choice Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 883-897, June.
- Edi Karni, 1996. "Social welfare functions and fairness," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(4), pages 487-496.
- Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2002. "Individual Sense of Justice: A Utility Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 263-284, January.
- John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434-434.
- Edi Karni & John A. Weymark, 1998. "An informationally parsimonious impartial observer theorem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(3), pages 321-332.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0582. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fumiko Matsumoto)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.