An Impossibility Result for Social Welfare
Relations in Infinitely-lived Societies

Michele Lombardi
Roberto Veneziani

July 2009


This paper extends the analysis of liberal principles in social choice recently proposed by Mariotti and Veneziani ([6]) to societies with an infinite number of agents. First, a novel characterisation of the inegalitarian leximax social welfare relation is provided based on the Individual Benefit Principle, which incorporates a liberal, non-interfering view of society. This result is surprising because the IBP has no obvious anti-egalitarian content. Second, it is shown that there exists no weakly complete social welfare relation that satisfies simultaneously the standard axioms of Finite Anonymity, Strong Pareto, and Weak Continuity, and a liberal principle of Non-Interference that generalises IBP.

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