Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 833–846 | Cite as

A generalized representation theorem for Harsanyi’s (‘impartial’) observer

  • Simon GrantEmail author
  • Atsushi Kajii
  • Ben Polak
  • Zvi Safra
Original Paper


We provide an axiomatization of an additively separable social welfare function in the context of Harsanyi’s impartial observer theorem. To do this, we reformulate Harsanyi’s setting to make the lotteries over the identities the observer may assume independent of the social alternative.


Interpersonal Comparison Expected Utility Maximizer Subjective Expected Utility Alternative Pair Social Alternative 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Grant
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Atsushi Kajii
    • 3
  • Ben Polak
    • 4
  • Zvi Safra
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.School of EconomicsUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Institute of Economic ResearchKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Economics, School of ManagementYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.University of ExeterExeterUK
  6. 6.The College of ManagementTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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