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Aggregating sets of von Neumann-Morgenstern

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Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Danan & Thibault Gajdos & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2010. "Aggregating sets of von Neumann-Morgenstern," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10068, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:10068
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    File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2010/10068.pdf
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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Danan & Thibault Gajdos & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2015. "Harsanyi's Aggregation Theorem with Incomplete Preferences," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 61-69, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aggregation; vNM utility; indeterminacy; neutrality; utilitarianism;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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