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Notes on Effective Freedom

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  • James Foster

Abstract

This paper presents an intuitive approach for comparing opportunity sets in freedom they offer. The decision maker faces a range of scenarios, here modeled as a collection of possible preference orderings over alternatives. One set is said to have greater effective freedom if, for each preference ordering, it contains an alternative that dominates all the alternatives in the second set. The properties of the effective freedom ranking are explored and various full and partial representations are presented. A key example is provided that shows how the effective freedom relation can rank sets even when the preference orderings strongly disagree with one another. Depending on the collection of preferences, the approach can generate the indirect utility ranking, for which unchosen alternatives have no value, or the Pattanaik and Xu (1990) cardinality ranking, in which every alternative has the same intrinsic value.

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  • James Foster, 2010. "Notes on Effective Freedom," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp034, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp034
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    File URL: http://www3.qeh.ox.ac.uk/pdf/ophiwp/OPHIWP034.pdf
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    4. Trede Mark, 1999. "Statistical Inference for Measures of Income Mobility / Statistische Inferenz zur Messung der Einkommensmobilität," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 218(3-4), pages 473-490, June.
    5. Van de Gaer, Dirk & Schokkaert, Erik & Martinez, Michel, 2001. "Three Meanings of Intergenerational Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 519-537, November.
    6. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heckman, James J. & Corbin, Chase O., 2016. "Capabilities and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 10005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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