- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy
- List of Contributors
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Inequality and Poverty Measures
- Social Welfare Functions
- QALY-Based Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
- Fair Allocation
- Social Ordering Functions
- Multidimensional Indicators of Inequality and Poverty
- Happiness-Based Policy Analysis
- Preference-Based Views of Well-Being
- Mental State Approaches to Well-Being
- Objective Goods
- Subjective Well-Being in Psychology
- Subjective Well-Being in Economics
- Equivalent Income
- Extended Preferences
- SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being
- Does the Choice of Well-Being Measure Matter Empirically?
- Does Fairness Require a Multidimensional Approach?
- The Capability Approach and Well-Being Measurement for Public Policy
- Measuring Poverty: A Proposal
- Multidimensional Poverty Indices: A Critical Assessment
- Social Evaluation under Risk and Uncertainty
- Individual Responsibility and Equality of Opportunity
- Welfare Comparisons with Heterogeneous Prices, Consumption, and Preferences
- Welfare and the Household
- Preference Inconsistency: A Psychological Perspective
- Lifetime Well-Being
- The Well-Being of Future Generations
- Author Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the problem of evaluating policies with either risky or uncertain consequences. Under risk, the probabilities are known and agreed, whereas under uncertainty, probabilities are subjective and subject to disagreement. In the case of risk, Harsanyi’s Social Aggregation Theorem derives a representation of social utility as a weighted sum of individual utilities. But when there is uncertainty, two different and conflicting evaluation criteria, that is, ex ante and ex post, become available. The chapter explores this problem and sketches solutions. Similarly, when equality becomes the guiding question, there is a tension between ex ante and ex post evaluations, each leading to a conceptual loss, and the chapter explores solutions given to this further problem. It also covers Harsanyi’s Impartial Observer Theorem and its recent developments, and discusses the question raised by Sen of whether the weighted sum of individual utilities obtained by Harsanyi makes genuine utilitarian sense.
Senior Research Fellow, CNRS; Professor of Economics and Philosophy, HEC School of Management
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.