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Michael Morreau and John A Weymark
''Measurement Scales and Welfarist Social Choice''
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
JEL: D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making: General
D6 - Welfare Economics: General
Manuscript Received : Jul 12 2015 Manuscript Accepted : Jul 13 2015

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