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J.S. Mill's Liberal Principle and Unanimity


  • Edward J. Green

    (U. of Minnesota and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)


The broad concept of an individual's welfare is actually a cluster of related specific concepts that bear a ``family resemblance'' to one another. One might care about how a policy will affect people both in terms of their subjective preferences and also in terms of some notion of their objective interests. This paper provides a framework for evaluation of policies in terms of welfare criteria that combine these two considerations. Sufficient conditions are provided for such a criterion to imply the same ranking of social states as does Pareto's unanimity criterion. Sufficiency is proved via study of a community of agents with interdependent ordinal preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J. Green, 1994. "J.S. Mill's Liberal Principle and Unanimity," GE, Growth, Math methods 9406004, EconWPA, revised 22 Jun 1994.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpge:9406004
    Note: 27 pages, plain TeX

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bergstrom, Ted, 1989. "Love and Spaghetti, the Opportunity Cost of Virtue," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 165-173, Spring.
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    JEL classification:

    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics


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