Interpersonal comparisons of wellbeing

Interpersonal comparisons of wellbeing (also called interpersonal comparisons of utility) are comparisons involving the welfare levels of different people. Such comparisons are often presupposed in evaluations of social outcomes and in explanations of human behavior.

Further reading

D’Aspremont, Claude (2008) Interpersonal utility comparisons (new developments), in Steven N. Durlauf & Lawrence E. Blume (eds.) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd ed., London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 3250–3254.

Elster, Jon & John E. Roemer (eds.) (1991) Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Greaves, Hilary & Harvey Lederman (2018) Extended preferences and interpersonal comparisons of well-being, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 96, pp. 636–667.

Harsanyi, John C. (1980) Cardinal welfare, individualistic ethics, and interpersonal comparisons of utility, in Essays on Ethics, Social Behavior, and Scientific Explanation, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp. 6–23.

Ng, Yew-Kwang (2013) Interpersonal utility, in James E. Crimmins (ed.) The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism, London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 279–280.

utilitarianism | welfare economics | wellbeing