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Statistical utilitarianism

  • Pivato, Marcus

We show that, in a sufficiently large population satisfying certain statistical regularities, it is often possible to accurately estimate the utilitarian social welfare function, even if we only have very noisy data about individual utility functions and interpersonal utility comparisons. In particular, we show that it is often possible to identify an optimal or close-to-optimal utilitarian social choice using voting rules such as the Borda rule, approval voting, relative utilitarianism, or any Condorcet-consistent rule.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/49561/1/MPRA_paper_49561.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49561.

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Date of creation: 06 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49561
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  1. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Discussion Papers 1214, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Abreu, Dilip & Matsushima, Hitoshi, 1992. "A Response [Virtual Implementation in Iteratively Undominated Strategies I: Complete Information]," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1439-42, November.
  3. Abreu, Dilip & Sen, Arunava, 1991. "Virtual Implementation in Nash Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 997-1021, July.
  4. Roberto Serrano & Rajiv Vohra, 2002. "A Characterization of Virtual Bayesian Implementation," Working Papers 2002-11, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Green, Jerry & Kohlberg, Elon & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1976. "Partial equilibrium approach to the free-rider problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 375-394, November.
  6. Edward Clarke, 1971. "Multipart pricing of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 17-33, September.
  7. McKelvey, Richard D. & Patty, John W., 2006. "A theory of voting in large elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 155-180, October.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  9. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester & Rosa Ferrer, 2011. "On the Justice of Decision Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-16.
  10. Lerner, A P, 1970. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 442-43, June.
  11. DHILLON, Amrita & MERTENS, Jean-François, 1993. "Relative Utilitarianism," CORE Discussion Papers 1993048, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Schmitz, Patrick W. & Tröger, Thomas, 2012. "The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 651-665.
  13. Pivato, Marcus, 2011. "Voting rules as statistical estimators," MPRA Paper 30292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Sen, Amartya, 1999. "Commodities and Capabilities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195650389, March.
  15. Giles, Adam & Postl, Peter, 2014. "Equilibrium and effectiveness of two-parameter scoring rules," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-52.
  16. Matías Núñez & Jean Laslier, 2014. "Preference intensity representation: strategic overstating in large elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 313-340, February.
  17. Amrita Dhillon, 1998. "Extended Pareto rules and relative utilitarianism," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 521-542.
  18. Breit, William & Culbertson, William P, Jr, 1970. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 435-41, June.
  19. McCain, Roger A, 1972. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Further Comments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 497-500, June.
  20. Artemov, Georgy & Kunimoto, Takashi & Serrano, Roberto, 2013. "Robust virtual implementation: Toward a reinterpretation of the Wilson doctrine," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 424-447.
  21. Breit, William & Culbertson, William Patton, Jr, 1972. "Distributional Equality and Aggregate Utility: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 501-02, June.
  22. Abreu, Dilip & Matsushima, Hitoshi, 1992. "Virtual Implementation in Iteratively Undominated Strategies: Complete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 993-1008, September.
  23. Matsushima, Hitoshi, 1988. "A new approach to the implementation problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 128-144, June.
  24. Bag, Parimal Kanti & Sabourian, Hamid & Winter, Eyal, 2009. "Multi-stage voting, sequential elimination and Condorcet consistency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1278-1299, May.
  25. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521897259 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521722131 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  28. Marcus Pivato, 2014. "Asymptotic utilitarianism in scoring rules," THEMA Working Papers 2014-16, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
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