IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ema/worpap/2014-18.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Statistical utilitarianism

Author

Listed:
  • Marcus Pivato

    () (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA and Department of Mathematics, Trent University, Canada)

Abstract

Given a sufficiently large population satisfying certain statistical regularities, we show that it is often possible to accurately estimate the utilitarian social welfare function and identify the welfare-maximizing social alternative, even if we only have very noisy data about individual utility functions and interpersonal utility comparisons, and even if the individuals can be strategically dishonest.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Pivato, 2014. "Statistical utilitarianism," THEMA Working Papers 2014-18, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  • Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2014-18
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://thema.u-cergy.fr/IMG/documents/2014-18.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Green, Jerry & Kohlberg, Elon & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1976. "Partial equilibrium approach to the free-rider problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 375-394, November.
    2. Amrita Dhillon & Jean-Francois Mertens, 1999. "Relative Utilitarianism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 471-498, May.
    3. Serrano, Roberto & Vohra, Rajiv, 2005. "A characterization of virtual Bayesian implementation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 312-331, February.
    4. Marcus Pivato, 2013. "Voting rules as statistical estimators," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(2), pages 581-630, February.
    5. Nitzan,Shmuel, 2009. "Collective Preference and Choice," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521722131.
    6. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
    7. Matsushima, Hitoshi, 1988. "A new approach to the implementation problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 128-144, June.
    8. Matías Núñez & Jean Laslier, 2014. "Preference intensity representation: strategic overstating in large elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(2), pages 313-340, February.
    9. Breit, William & Culbertson, William Patton, Jr, 1972. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 501-502, June.
    10. Marcus Pivato, 2016. "Asymptotic utilitarianism in scoring rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(2), pages 431-458, August.
    11. Lerner, A P, 1970. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 442-443, June.
    12. McCain, Roger A, 1972. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Further Comments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 497-500, June.
    13. Schmitz, Patrick W. & Tröger, Thomas, 2012. "The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 651-665.
    14. McKelvey, Richard D. & Patty, John W., 2006. "A theory of voting in large elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 155-180, October.
    15. Myerson, Roger B., 2002. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 219-251, March.
    16. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester & Rosa Ferrer, 2011. "On the Justice of Decision Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-16.
    17. Bordley, Robert F., 1983. "A Pragmatic Method for Evaluating Election Schemes through Simulation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 123-141, March.
    18. Breit, William & Culbertson, William P, Jr, 1970. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 435-441, June.
    19. Amrita Dhillon, 1998. "Extended Pareto rules and relative utilitarianism," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(4), pages 521-542.
    20. Giles, Adam & Postl, Peter, 2014. "Equilibrium and effectiveness of two-parameter scoring rules," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-52.
    21. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
    22. Artemov, Georgy & Kunimoto, Takashi & Serrano, Roberto, 2013. "Robust virtual implementation: Toward a reinterpretation of the Wilson doctrine," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 424-447.
    23. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-631, July.
    24. Bag, Parimal Kanti & Sabourian, Hamid & Winter, Eyal, 2009. "Multi-stage voting, sequential elimination and Condorcet consistency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1278-1299, May.
    25. Abreu, Dilip & Matsushima, Hitoshi, 1992. "A Response [Virtual Implementation in Iteratively Undominated Strategies I: Complete Information]," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1439-1442, November.
    26. Sen, Amartya, 1999. "Commodities and Capabilities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195650389.
    27. Abreu, Dilip & Sen, Arunava, 1991. "Virtual Implementation in Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 997-1021, July.
    28. Abreu, Dilip & Matsushima, Hitoshi, 1992. "Virtual Implementation in Iteratively Undominated Strategies: Complete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 993-1008, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pivato, Marcus, 2015. "Condorcet meets Bentham," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 58-65.
    2. Marcus Pivato, 2016. "Asymptotic utilitarianism in scoring rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(2), pages 431-458, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    utilitarian; interpersonal comparisons; Groves-Clarke pivotal mecha- nism.;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2014-18. 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: (Stefania Marcassa). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/themafr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.