Measurement Scales and Welfarist Social Choice
Michael Morreau () and
John Weymark ()
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Michael Morreau: UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
No 15-00008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers from Vanderbilt University Department of Economics
The social welfare functional approach to social choice theory fails to distinguish between a genuine change in individual well-beings from a merely representational change due to the use of di erent measurement scales. A generalization of the concept of a social welfare functional is introduced that explicitly takes account of the scales that are used to measure well-beings so as to distinguish between these two kinds of changes. This generalization of the standard theoretical framework results in a more satisfactory formulation of welfarism, the doctrine that social alternatives are evaluated and socially ranked solely in terms of the well-beings of the relevant individuals. This scale-dependent form of welfarism is axiomatized using this framework. The implications of this approach for characterizing classes of social welfare orderings are also considered.
Keywords: grading; measurement scales; social welfare functionals; utility aggregation; welfarism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D7 D6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap and nep-upt
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:van:wpaper:vuecon-sub-15-00008
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