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Multi-Profile Intergenerational Social Choice

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  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • SUZUMURA, Kotaro

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • BOSSERT, Walter & SUZUMURA, Kotaro, 2008. "Multi-Profile Intergenerational Social Choice," Cahiers de recherche 2008-08, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2008-08
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/2529
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kaushik Basu & Tapan Mitra, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with InterGenerational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1557-1563, September.
    2. Hammond, Peter J, 1976. "Equity, Arrow's Conditions, and Rawls' Difference Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 793-804, July.
    3. Chiaki Hara & Tomoichi Shinotsuka & Kotaro Suzumura & Yongsheng Xu, 2008. "Continuity and egalitarianism in the evaluation of infinite utility streams," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 179-191, August.
    4. Campbell, Donald E., 1990. "Intergenerational social choice without the Pareto principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 414-423, April.
    5. Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "A New Equity Condition for Infinite Utility Streams and the Possibility of being Paretian," International Economic Association Series, in: John Roemer & Kotaro Suzumura (ed.), Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability, chapter 4, pages 55-68, Palgrave Macmillan.
    6. 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.
    7. John Ferejohn & Talbot Page, 1978. "On the Foundations of Intertemporal Choice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 60(2), pages 269-275.
    8. 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.
    9. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    10. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-1256, July.
    11. Bossert, Walter & Sprumont, Yves & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2007. "Ordering infinite utility streams," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 579-589, July.
    12. Kotaro Suzumura, 1999. "Welfare Economics Beyond Welfarist-Consequentialism," Discussion Paper Series a382, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Bengt Hansson, 1976. "The existence of group preference functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 89-98, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susumu Cato, 2013. "Social choice, the strong Pareto principle, and conditional decisiveness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 563-579, October.
    2. Bossert, Walter & Suzumura, Kotaro, 2009. "Decisive coalitions and coherence properties," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 427, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. BOSSERT, Walter & SUZUMURA, Kotaro, 2012. "Multi-Profile Intertemporal Social Choice," Cahiers de recherche 2012-08, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    4. Susumu Cato, 2020. "Quasi-stationary social welfare functions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 85-106, July.
    5. Cato, Susumu, 2021. "Preference aggregation and atoms in measures," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multi-Profile Social Choice; Infinite-Horizon Intergenerational Choice; Lexicograic Dictatorshi.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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