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Aggregating sets of von Neumann-Morgenstern utilities

  • Eric Danan


    (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - Université de Cergy Pontoise - CNRS)

  • Thibault Gajdos


    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)

  • Jean-Marc Tallon


    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)

We analyze the aggregation problem without the assumption that individuals and society have fully determined and observable preferences. More precisely, we endow individuals ans society with sets of possible von Neumann-Morgenstern utility functions over lotteries. We generalize the classical neutrality assumption to this setting and characterize the class of neutral social welfare function. This class turns out to be considerably broader for indeterminate than for determinate utilities, where it basically reduces to utilitarianism. In particular, aggregation rules may differ by the relationship between individual and social indeterminacy. We characterize several subclasses of neutral aggregation rules and show that utilitarian rules are those that yield the least indeterminate social utilities, although they still fail to systematically yield a determinate social utility.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00523448.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00523448
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  1. Green, Jerry & Hojman, Daniel, 2007. "Choice, Rationality and Welfare Measurement," Working Paper Series rwp07-054, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Juan Dubra & Fabio Maccheroni & Efe Oki, 2001. "Expected utility theory without the completeness axiom," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 11-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
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  7. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
  8. Evren, Özgür & Ok, Efe A., 2011. "On the multi-utility representation of preference relations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 554-563.
  9. Baucells, Manel & Shapley, Lloyd S., 2008. "Multiperson utility," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 329-347, March.
  10. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GEVERS, Louis, . "Equity and the informational basis of collective choice," CORE Discussion Papers RP 350, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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