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Ordering infinite utility streams comes at the cost of a non-Ramsey set

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  • Luc LAUWERS

Abstract

The existence of a Paretian and finitely anonymous ordering in the set of infinite utility streams implies the existence of a non-Ramsey set (a nonconstructive object whose existence requires the axiom of choice). Therefore, each Paretian and finitely anonymous quasi-ordering either is incomplete or does not have an explicit description. Hence, the possibility results of Svensson (1980) and of Bossert, Sprumont, and Suzumura (2006) do require the axiom of choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Luc LAUWERS, 2009. "Ordering infinite utility streams comes at the cost of a non-Ramsey set," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven ces09.05, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces09.05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "Sustainable Recursive Social Welfare Functions," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Graciela Chichilnisky & Armon Rezai (ed.), The Economics of the Global Environment, pages 165-190, Springer.
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    7. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2007. "Utilitarianism for infinite utility streams: A new welfare criterion and its axiomatic characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 350-373, March.
    8. Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "A New Equity Condition for Infinite Utility Streams and the Possibility of being Paretian," International Economic Association Series, in: John Roemer & Kotaro Suzumura (ed.), Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability, chapter 4, pages 55-68, Palgrave Macmillan.
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    11. Bossert, Walter & Sprumont, Yves & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2007. "Ordering infinite utility streams," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 579-589, July.
    12. Lauwers, Luc & Vallentyne, Peter, 2004. "Infinite Utilitarianism: More Is Always Better," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 307-330, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational justice; Pareto; Multi-period social choice; Axiom of choice; Constructivism.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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