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Risky social choice with approximate interpersonal comparisons of well-being

  • Pivato, Marcus

We develop a model of social choice over lotteries, where people's psychological characteristics are mutable, their preferences may be incomplete, and approximate interpersonal comparisons of well-being are possible. Formally, we suppose individual preferences are described by a von~Neumann-Morgenstern (vNM) preference order on a space of lotteries over psychophysical states; the social planner must construct a vNM preference order on lotteries over social states. First we consider a model when the individual vNM preference order is incomplete (so not all interpersonal comparisons are possible). Then we consider a model where the individual vNM preference order is complete, but unknown to the planner, and thus modeled by a random variable. In both cases, we obtain characterizations of a utilitarian social welfare function.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25222.

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Date of creation: 20 Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25222
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  1. Mongin, Ph., 1991. "Harsanyi's aggregation theorem: multi-profile version and unsettled questions," CORE Discussion Papers 1991036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Özgür Evren, 2008. "On the existence of expected multi-utility representations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 575-592, June.
  3. Lloyd S. Shapley & Manel Baucells, 1998. "Multiperson Utility," UCLA Economics Working Papers 779, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  5. Dubra, Juan & Maccheroni, Fabio & Ok, Efe A., 2004. "Expected utility theory without the completeness axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 118-133, March.
  6. repec:ubc:bricol:90-03 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Pivato, Marcus, 2010. "Approximate interpersonal comparisons of well-being," MPRA Paper 25224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Sen, Amartya K, 1972. "Interpersonal Comparison and Partial Comparability: A Correction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(5), pages 959, September.
  9. Blackorby, Charles, 1975. "Degrees of Cardinality and Aggregate Partial Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(5-6), pages 845-52, Sept.-Nov.
  10. Pivato, Marcus, 2010. "Aggregation of incomplete ordinal preferences with approximate interpersonal comparisons," MPRA Paper 25271, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "Interpersonal Aggregation and Partial Comparability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 393-409, May.
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