SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Utilitarianism for infinite utility streams: summable differences and finite averages
() and Mark Voorneveld
Abstract: This paper provides axiomatic descriptions of social
welfare relations, defined on infinite streams of utility, that are
consistent with the utilitarian criterion on subsets where maximizing
aggregate utility has a clear interpretation: the streams, or their
differences, are summable. Besides standard assumptions on efficiency,
equity and interpersonal comparability, two axioms are introduced and shown
to be necessary and sufficient. A more general version of one axiom
suffices to distinguish streams with different long-run averages.
Keywords: Intergenerational equity; aggregating infinite utility streams; ethical social welfare relations; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D63; D70; D90; (follow links to similar papers)
12 pages, March 17, 2014, Revised April 15, 2014
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