Proper Welfare Weights for Social Optimization Problems
Social optimization problems are often used in economics to study important issues. In a social optimization problem, the sum of individual weighted utilities is maximized over all feasible allocations that satisfy certain constraints. In this paper, we provide a mechanism that determines the set of proper individual weights to be applied to social optimization problems. To do this, we first define for every set of individual weights and for every social welfare function the contribution of every individual to the total welfare through the individual’s initial endowments. We then provide an axiomatic approach to the notion of the per unit contribution of every good and every individual. We then define a set of individual weights to be proper iff the weighted utilities of every individual from this allocation are proportional to the contribution of the individual to the total welfare as defined by this set of weights. It is shown that every contribution mechanism that satisfies these four axioms is uniquely determined by a non negative measure on the unit interval. The selection of a specific contribution mechanism (or equivalently the selection of a specific nonnegative measure on the unit interval) determines for a given economy and a given set of weights a proper constrained efficient allocation and a proper set of weights. Finally, we provide several numerical examples that illustrate our methodology. When households are not ex ante identical, the examples suggest that using the proper weights can substantially affect the allocations.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384|
Web page: http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/economics/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:10-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.