Making interpersonal comparisons of the value of income with a hypothetical auction


Economic policy decisions require comparisons of the gains and losses from policy choices to different people. If those gains can be valued in monetary terms, than all that is needed is a comparison of the value of income to different persons, which can be weights in cost-benefit analysis. An objective comparison of the value of income to different people has been long sought but never found. I propose that when money to be allocated is controlled by a group of people with equal control over that money, then a hypothetical auction for transfers of income between people can produce a collective judgment about the value of income that provides suitable weights, and is morally defensible in cases where the decision is made by the group collectively, e.g. when making government policy choices. I provide a method for calculating such weights from observed choices about distributing income, and discuss several desirable properties that they have.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Making Interpersonal Comparisons Coherently.Martin Barrett & Daniel Hausman - 1990 - Economics and Philosophy 6 (2):293.
Income-based equity weights in healthcare planning and policy.Anders Herlitz - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (8):510-514.
Porez na dohodak U republici hrvatskoj.Miljenko Javorovic - 2015 - Fip: Journal of Finance and Law 3 (1):83-100.
Costs and Benefits of Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Response to Bantz and MacLean.Peter Railton - 1982 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:261-271.
On the Cognitive Argument for Cost-Benefit Analysis.Andreas Christiansen - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):217-230.
Will a Basic Income Do Justice to Women?Ingrid Robeyns - 2001 - Analyse & Kritik 23 (1):88-105.
Natura economica in Environmental Valuation.Katrine Soma - 2006 - Environmental Values 15 (1):31 - 50.


Added to PP

225 (#56,015)

6 months
31 (#40,934)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Behaviorism 15 (1):73-82.
What is equality? Part 2: Equality of resources.Ronald Dworkin - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (4):283 - 345.

View all 14 references / Add more references