Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 31–45

Measuring autonomy freedom

Original Paper


In the measurement of autonomy freedom, the admissible potential preference relations are elicited by means of the concept of ‘reasonableness’. In this paper we argue for an alternative criterion based on information about the decision maker’s ‘awareness’ of his available opportunities. We argue that such an interpretation of autonomy fares better than that based on reasonableness. We then introduce some axioms that capture this intuition and study their logical implications. In the process, a new measure of autonomy freedom is characterized, which generalizes some of the measures so far constructed in the literature.


Autonomy Freedom of Choice Rankings of opportunity situations 

JEL Classification

D63 D71 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London School of EconomicsLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversità di BariBariItaly
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversità di Palermo, CPNSSPalermoItaly

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