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Multi-Profile Intergenerational Social Choice

  • Bossert, Walter
  • Suzumura, Kotaro

Ferejohn and Page transplanted a stationarity axiom from Koopmans' theory of impatience into Arrow's social choice theory with an infinite horizon and showed that the Arrow axioms and stationarity lead to a dictatorship by the first generation. We prove that the negative implications of their stationarity axiom are more far-reaching: there is no Arrow social welfare function satisfying their stationarity axiom. We propose a more suitable stationarity axiom, and show that an Arrow social welfare function satisfies this modified version if and only if it is a lexicographic dictatorship where the generations are taken into consideration in chronological order.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/15821/1/pie_dp380.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series PIE/CIS Discussion Paper with number 380.

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Length: 18 p.
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:piecis:380
Note: This version: June 5, 2008
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  1. Kirman, Alan P. & Sondermann, Dieter, 1972. "Arrow's theorem, many agents, and invisible dictators," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 267-277, October.
  2. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with Inter-generational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Working Papers 03-03, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Asheim, Geir B. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2005. "A new equity condition for infinite utility streams and the possibility of being Paretian," Memorandum 08/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Kotaro Suzumura, 1999. "Welfare Economics Beyond Welfarist-Consequentialism," Discussion Paper Series a382, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Chiaki Hara & Tomoichi Shinotsuka & Kotaro Suzumura & Yongsheng Xu, 2008. "Continuity and egalitarianism in the evaluation of infinite utility streams," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 179-191, August.
  7. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Hammond, Peter J, 1976. "Equity, Arrow's Conditions, and Rawls' Difference Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 793-804, July.
  9. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-56, July.
  10. Bossert, Walter & Sprumont, Yves & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2007. "Ordering infinite utility streams," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 579-589, July.
  11. Campbell, Donald E., 1990. "Intergenerational social choice without the Pareto principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 414-423, April.
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