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Social Aggregation Without the Expected Utility Hypothesis

Author

Listed:
  • Charles Blackorby

    (University of Warwick [Coventry])

  • David Donaldson

    (UBC - University of British Columbia)

  • Philippe Mongin

    (CECO - Laboratoire d'économétrie de l'École polytechnique - X - École polytechnique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper investigates the possibilities for satisfaction of both the ex-ante and ex-post Pareto principles in a general model in which neither individual nor social preferences necessarily satisfy the Expected Utility Hypothesis. If probabilities are subjective and allowed to vary, three different impossibility results are presented. If probabilities are 'objective' (identical across individuals and the observer), necessary and sufficient conditions on individual and social value functions are found (Theorem 4). The resulting individual value functions are consistent not only with Subjective Expected Utility theory, but also with some versions of Prospect Theory, Subjectively Weighted Utility Theory, and Anticipated Utility Theory. Social Preferences are Weighted Generalized Utilitarian and, in the case in which individual preferences satisfy the Generalized Bernoulli Hypothesis, they are Weighted Utilitarian. The objective-probability results for social preferences cast a new light on Harsanyi's Social Aggregation Theorem, which assumes that both individual and social preferences satisfy the Expecte Utility Hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson & Philippe Mongin, 2004. "Social Aggregation Without the Expected Utility Hypothesis," Working Papers hal-00242932, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00242932
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00242932
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1999. "Harsanyi's social aggregation theorem for state-contingent alternatives1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 365-387, November.
    2. 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.
    3. W. M. Gorman, 1968. "The Structure of Utility Functions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 367-390.
    4. Ben-Porath, Elchanan & Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1997. "On the Measurement of Inequality under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 194-204, July.
    5. Itzhak Gilboa & Dov Samet & David Schmeidler, 2004. "Utilitarian Aggregation of Beliefs and Tastes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 932-938, August.
    6. Mongin, P & d'Aspremont, C, 1996. "Utility Theory and Ethics," Papers 9632, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    7. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    8. Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2002. "Individual Sense of Justice: A Utility Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 263-284, January.
    9. Hammond, P.J. & , ., 1987. "Consequentialist foundations for expected utility," CORE Discussion Papers 1987016, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. Mongin Philippe, 1995. "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 313-351, August.
    11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    12. Hammond, Peter J, 1981. "Ex-ante and Ex-post Welfare Optimality under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(191), pages 235-250, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2009. "Two variants of Harsanyi's aggregation theorem," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 300-302, December.
    2. Chambers, Christopher P. & Hayashi, Takashi, 2006. "Preference aggregation under uncertainty: Savage vs. Pareto," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 430-440, February.
    3. Crès, Hervé & Gilboa, Itzhak & Vieille, Nicolas, 2011. "Aggregation of multiple prior opinions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2563-2582.
    4. Fleurbaey, Marc & Gajdos, Thibault & Zuber, Stéphane, 2015. "Social rationality, separability, and equity under uncertainty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 13-22.
    5. Blanchard, Michel & Blanchard, Frederic, 2007. "Optimism, Pessimism, and the Gains from Trade," MPRA Paper 6342, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter, 2004. "Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being," Cahiers de recherche 2004-06, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    7. Thibault Gajdos & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2005. "On the impossibility of preference aggregation under uncertainty," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v05012, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    8. Mongin, Philippe & Pivato, Marcus, 2015. "Ranking multidimensional alternatives and uncertain prospects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 146-171.
    9. Marc Fleurbaey, 2010. "Assessing Risky Social Situations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 649-680, August.
    10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/99 is not listed on IDEAS

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