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Är din eller min nytta störst? – problemet med interpersonella nyttojämförelser

Petersson, Simon (2010)
Department of Economics
Abstract
To develop a meaningful allocation policy as the basis for economic welfare, it’s necessary to make some kind of comparison of the utility different people get with the various options that are available. If you put the greatest emphasis on raising the overall benefit of society, or seek to maximize other ideals such as liberty, equality and justice, the allocation will be different. I have in this essay chosen a utilitarian perspective, and this leads to a certain kind of welfare. Which approach is chosen for the hard-defined concept of utility, determines if it is at all possible to make meaningful comparisons of utility between individuals in a society. Some theories say that it’s possible; some say it’s not, and each approach leads to... (More)
To develop a meaningful allocation policy as the basis for economic welfare, it’s necessary to make some kind of comparison of the utility different people get with the various options that are available. If you put the greatest emphasis on raising the overall benefit of society, or seek to maximize other ideals such as liberty, equality and justice, the allocation will be different. I have in this essay chosen a utilitarian perspective, and this leads to a certain kind of welfare. Which approach is chosen for the hard-defined concept of utility, determines if it is at all possible to make meaningful comparisons of utility between individuals in a society. Some theories say that it’s possible; some say it’s not, and each approach leads to various forms of what we call welfare. The modern disciplines I will address, such as the psychological aspect of utility and neuro-economics, has a completely different view on utility than the historical theories of the neoclassical welfare economics and the behaviorist school which was launched in the early 1930s. As I point out, however, at any given time in history the theorists have to work with the means at hand and as the sciences progress, the paradigms shift and the views on the possibility of making relevant interpersonal utility comparisons with them. I come to the conclusion that this possibility entirely depends on how you define utility. (Less)
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@misc{1553968,
  abstract     = {To develop a meaningful allocation policy as the basis for economic welfare, it’s necessary to make some kind of comparison of the utility different people get with the various options that are available. If you put the greatest emphasis on raising the overall benefit of society, or seek to maximize other ideals such as liberty, equality and justice, the allocation will be different. I have in this essay chosen a utilitarian perspective, and this leads to a certain kind of welfare. Which approach is chosen for the hard-defined concept of utility, determines if it is at all possible to make meaningful comparisons of utility between individuals in a society. Some theories say that it’s possible; some say it’s not, and each approach leads to various forms of what we call welfare. The modern disciplines I will address, such as the psychological aspect of utility and neuro-economics, has a completely different view on utility than the historical theories of the neoclassical welfare economics and the behaviorist school which was launched in the early 1930s. As I point out, however, at any given time in history the theorists have to work with the means at hand and as the sciences progress, the paradigms shift and the views on the possibility of making relevant interpersonal utility comparisons with them. I come to the conclusion that this possibility entirely depends on how you define utility.},
  author       = {Petersson, Simon},
  keyword      = {interpersonal comparisons of utility,utilitarianism,neuroeconomics,behaviorism,happiness research,Economics, econometrics, economic theory, economic systems, economic policy,Nationalekonomi, ekonometri, ekonomisk teori, ekonomiska system, ekonomisk politik},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Är din eller min nytta störst? – problemet med interpersonella nyttojämförelser},
  year         = {2010},
}