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Decisions vs. Willingness-to-Pay in Social Choice

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The paper compares use of willingness to pay values with multi-attribute utility as ways of modelling social choice problems in the environment. A number of reasons for moving away from willingness to pay are reviewed. The view proposed is that social choice is about the integration of competing claim types (utilities, rights, social contracts and beliefs about due process). However, willingness to pay is only indirectly related to the first of these and assumes an Arrovian approach, namely one in which social choice is regarded as the aggregation of people's preferences.

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Keywords: applied social choice; capability rights; environmental decision making; multi-attribute utility theory; willingness to pay

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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