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Statistical utilitarianism

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  • 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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    utilitarian; interpersonal comparisons; Groves-Clarke pivotal mecha- nism.;
    All these keywords.

    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

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