SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Outer measure and utility
() and Jörgen W. Weibull
Abstract: In most economics textbooks there is a gap between the
non-existence of utility functions and the existence of continuous utility
functions, although upper semi-continuity is sufficient for many purposes.
Starting from a simple constructive approach for countable domains and
combining this with basic measure theory, we obtain necessary and
sufficient conditions for the existence of upper semi-continuous utility
functions on a wide class of domains. Although links between utility theory
and measure theory have been pointed out before, to the best of our
knowledge this is the first time that the present route has been taken.
Keywords: preferences; utility theory; measure theory; outer measure; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C60; D01; (follow links to similar papers)
8 pages, October 16, 2008, Revised April 6, 2009
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