IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/van/wpaper/0518.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On Kolm's Use of Epistemic Counterfactuals in Social Choice Theory

Author

Listed:
  • John A. Weymark

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

Serge Kolm's "epistemic counterfactual principle" says that a social choice only needs to be made from the actual feasible set of alternatives given the actual preference profile, but it must be justified by the choices that would have been made in appropriate counterfactual choice situations. Kolm's principle does not identify the relevant counterfactuals. In this article, it is argued that the appropriate counterfactuals to justify an impartial social choice are all of the choice situations that a moral agent behind a veil of ignorance might think is the actual choice situation outside the veil.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. Weymark, 2005. "On Kolm's Use of Epistemic Counterfactuals in Social Choice Theory," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0518, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0518
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu05-w18R.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert P. Parks, 1976. "An Impossibility Theorem for Fixed Preferences: A Dictatorial Bergson-Samuelson Welfare Function," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(3), pages 447-450.
    2. Prasanta Pattanaik, 2005. "Little and Bergson on Arrow's concept of social welfare," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 25(2), pages 369-379, December.
    3. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1994. "Rational normative economics vs 'social welfare' and 'social choice'," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 721-730, April.
    4. LeBreton, M., 1994. "Arrovian Social Choice on Economic Domains," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 94a37, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
    5. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    6. Marc Fleurbaey & Philippe Mongin, 2005. "The news of the death of welfare economics is greatly exaggerated," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 25(2), pages 381-418, December.
    7. 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 434-434.
    8. Robert A. Pollak, 1979. "Bergson-Samuelson Social Welfare Functions and the Theory of Social Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(1), pages 73-90.
    9. Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1988. "Social choice in economic environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 291-308, December.
    10. Abram Bergson, 1954. "On the Concept of Social Welfare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 233-252.
    11. Kemp, Murray C & Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1976. "On the Existence of Social Welfare Functions, Social Orderings and Social Decision Functions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(169), pages 59-66, February.
    12. William Vickrey, 1960. "Utility, Strategy, and Social Decision Rules," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 507-535.
    13. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Arrovian social choice; counterfactual choice; veil of ignorance; impartial observer; universal prescriptivism;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0518. 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: (John P. Conley). General contact details of provider: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.