By Ajit K. Dasgupta, D. W. Pearce
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Extra info for Cost-Benefit Analysis: Theory and Practice
The reason for this is that the Paretian welfare theory denies the possibility of interpersonal comparisons of utility. Hence, if some gain and some lose in respect of a policy change, there is no way of discovering whether the extra utility of the gainers exceeds the extra utility of the losers. With these simple illustrations it is possible to define relations between alternative states in terms of Pareto rankings. y (x is Pareto preferred to y) if either xPy for all individuals comprising society, or xPy for some individuals and xly for the remainder.
Simon  on this possibility. Fourthly, many philosophers would be unhappy with the economist's treatment of preferences or wants as 'primitive notions'. He would almost certainly wish to refer to the substantial literature which denies that any empirical science, which economics purports to be, can be built upon foundations which necessarily require the existence of unanalysable notions. The troubled reader is referred to C. W. Churchman's essay  if he wishes to open this particular Pandora's box.
Let x consist of receiving five safety pins and y consist of receiving three safety pins and z consist of being executed at dawn. The individual 1 For the proof itself, which involves some mathematics, the reader is referred to Marschak . B 34 The Objective Function in Cost-Benefit Analysis concerned prefers x to y and y to z. But there may not exist any probability p which will make the individual concerned indifferent between y and the prospect of x, z with probabilities p, 1-p respectively.