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Utilitarianism with Prior Heterogeneity

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Abstract

Harsanyi's axiomatic justification of utilitarianism is extended to a framework with subjective and heterogenous priors. Contrary to the existing literature on aggregation of preferences under uncertainty, society is here allowed to formulate probability judgements, not on the actual state of the world as individuals do, but rather on the opinion they each have on the actual state. An extended Pareto condition is then proposed that characterizes the social utility function as a convex combination of individual ones and the social prior as the independent product of individual ones

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Billot & Vassili Vergopoulos, 2014. "Utilitarianism with Prior Heterogeneity," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14049, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:14049
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    File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2014/14049.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mongin, Philippe & Pivato, Marcus, 2015. "Ranking multidimensional alternatives and uncertain prospects," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 146-171.
    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. Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Weinstein, Jonathan, 2009. "The Ambiguity Aversion Literature: A Critical Assessment," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(03), pages 249-284, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hill , Brian & Danan , Eric, 2014. "Aggregating Tastes, Beliefs, and Attitudes Under Uncertainty," Les Cahiers de Recherche 1057, HEC Paris.
    2. Eric Danan & Thibault Gajdos & Brian Hill & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2016. "Robust Social Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2407-2425, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Utilitarianism; prior heterogeneity; Pareto condition;

    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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