On the Imposibility of Representing Infinite Utility Streams Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2009

start page

  • 47

end page

  • 56

issue

  • 1

volume

  • 40

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0938-2259

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1432-0479

abstract

  • We introduce a new Pareto-type criterion for social welfare functions over infinite utility streams that is not necessarily sensitive to increments in just a finite number of components. We show that there is no social welfare function that satisfies both this criterion and Diamond's equity condition simultaneously. With our result, we extend the impossibility theorem of Basu and Mitra. Moreover, we show that, even under a weaker version of equity related to Zame's intergenerational equity condition, the impossibility results are obtained as well.