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Interpersonal Comparisons and Utilitarian Social Choice
  • John Lawrence
John Lawrence
University of California at San Diego

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Interpersonal comparisons of utility scales have been considered to be meaningless. Therefore, utilitarian voting consisting of individual preference ratings on some utility scale as inputs has been considered unscientific. We show a particular method consisting of a hybrid of utilitarian and approval voting or choosing for which individual utility scales need not be comparable since the results are the same for any affine linear transformation of the utility scale. Therefore, the issue of interpersonal comparisons is moot.