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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.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series GE, Growth, Math methods with number 9406004.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 21 Jun 1994
Date of revision: 21 Jun 1994
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpge:9406004
Note: 27 pages, plain TeX
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Bergstrom, Ted, 1989. "Love and Spaghetti, the Opportunity Cost of Virtue," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 165-73, Spring.
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