The Unsolvable Dilemma of a Paretian Policymaker
12 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2004
In this paper, we argue that social decisionmaking is subject to a fundamental conflict between consistency and completeness. We show that a consistent welfarist method of policy assessment, that is, one that never violates the Pareto principle, may be incomplete in the sense of being incapable of providing a solution to important social welfare problems.
Keywords: Individualistic social welfare, Interdependent preferences
JEL Classification: C0, D63, K0
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation