NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Aggregating Local Preferences to Guide Marginal Policy Adjustments

Daniel J. Benjamin, Ori Heffetz, Miles S. Kimball, Nichole Szembrot

NBER Working Paper No. 18787
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   AG   PE

We propose a social choice rule for aggregating preferences elicited from surveys into a marginal adjustment of policy from the status quo. The mechanism is: (i) symmetric in its treatment of survey respondents; (ii) ordinal, using only the orientation of respondents’ indifference surfaces; (iii) local, using only preferences in the neighborhood of current policy; and (iv) what we call “first-order strategy-proof,” making the gains from misreporting preferences second order. The mechanism could be applied to guide policy based on how policy affects responses to subjective well-being surveys.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18787

Published: Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Nichole Szembrot, 2013. "Aggregating Local Preferences to Guide Marginal Policy Adjustments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 605-10, May.

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