Individual fairness in Harsanyi’s utilitarianism: operationalizing all-inclusive utility [Book Review]

Theory and Decision 68 (4):405-415 (2010)

Fairness can be incorporated into Harsanyi’s utilitarianism through all-inclusive utility. This retains the normative assumptions of expected utility and Pareto-efficiency, and relates fairness to individual preferences. It makes utilitarianism unfalsifiable, however, if agents’ all-inclusive utilities are not explicitly specified. This note proposes a two-stage model to make utilitarian welfare analysis falsifiable by specifying all-inclusive utilities explicitly through models of individual fairness preferences. The approach is applied to include fairness in widely discussed allocation examples
Keywords Utilitarianism  Outcome fairness  Process fairness  All-inclusive utility
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DOI 10.1007/s11238-008-9104-4
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