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On the impossibility of preference aggregation under uncertainty

Thibault Gajdos (), Jean-Marc Tallon () and Jean-Christophe Vergnaud ()

Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques from Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1)

Abstract: We provide a general theorem on the aggregation of preferences under uncertainty. We study, in the Anscombe-Aumann setting a wide class of preferences that includes most known models of decision under uncertainty (and state-dependent versions of these models). We prove that aggregation is possible and necessarily linear if (society's) preferences are smooth. The latter means that society cannot have a non-neutral attitude towards uncertainty on a subclass of acts. A corollary to our theorem is that it is not possible to aggregate maxmin expected utility maximizers, even when they all have the same set of priors. We show that dropping a weak notion of monotonicity on society's preferences allows one to restore the possibility of aggregation of non-smooth preferences.

Keywords: Aggregation; Harsanyi; uncertainty; multiple priors. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D70 D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2005-02
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