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Harsanyi’s Social Aggregation Theorem : A Multi-Profile Approach with Variable-Population Extensions

Listed author(s):
  • BLACKORBY, Charles
  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • DONALDSON, David

This paper provides new versions of Harsanyi’s social aggregation theorem that are formulated in terms of prospects rather than lotteries. Strengthening an earlier result, fixed-population ex-ante utilitarianism is characterized in a multi-profile setting with fixed probabilities. In addition, we extend the social aggregation theorem to social-evaluation problems under uncertainty with a variable population and generalize our approach to uncertain alternatives, which consist of compound vectors of probability distributions and prospects.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/492
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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2003-05.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2003-05
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Web page: http://www.sceco.umontreal.ca

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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. Kevin W. S. Roberts, 1980. "Interpersonal Comparability and Social Choice Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(2), pages 421-439.
  3. De Meyer, Bernard & Mongin, Philippe, 1995. "A note on affine aggregation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 177-183, February.
  4. Mongin, Philippe, 1998. "The paradox of the Bayesian experts and state-dependent utility theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 331-361, April.
  5. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 2002. " Population Principles with Number-Dependent Critical Levels," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(3), pages 347-368.
  6. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A, 1984. "Social Choice with Interpersonal Utility Comparisons: A Diagrammatic Introduction," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(2), pages 327-356, June.
  7. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-1320, November.
  8. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1999. "Information Invariance in Variable-Population Social-Choice Problems," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 403-422, May.
  9. MONGIN, Philippe & d'ASPREMONT, Claude, "undated". "Utility theory and ethics," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1423, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Mongin, P., "undated". "Harsanyi's aggregation theorem: multi-profile version and unsettled questions," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1153, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Mongin Philippe, 1995. "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 313-351, August.
  14. John Broome, 1990. "Bolker-Jeffrey Expected Utility Theory and Axiomatic Utilitarianism," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 477-502.
  15. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 2002. "Utilitarianism and the theory of justice," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 543-596 Elsevier.
  16. 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.
  17. Walter Bossert & David Donaldson & Charles Blackorby, 1998. "Uncertainty and critical-level population principles," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(1), pages 1-20.
  18. Maurice Salles, 2005. "Social Choice," Post-Print halshs-00337075, HAL.
  19. Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John Weymark, 2008. "Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism," Post-Print hal-00246415, HAL.
  20. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
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