Aggregating Local Preferences to Guide Marginal Policy Adjustments
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.
We thank Matthew Adler, Geir Asheim, Gregory Besharov, Aaron Bodoh-Creed, Alexander Cappelen, Gabriel Carroll, Steve Coate, Koen Decancq, Marc Fleurbaey, Erzo Luttmer, Guy Mayraz, Ted O'Donoghue, Alex Rees-Jones, Erik Sørensen, Alois Stutzer, Bertil Tungodden, our discussant, Ed Glaeser, and audiences at the University of Michigan, the AEA Annual Meeting, and the Norwegian School of Economics for valuable comments and suggestions. For financial support we are grateful to Cornell's Institute for Social Science, S. C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, and NIH/NIA grants R01-AG040787 to the University of Michigan and T32-AG00186 to the NBER. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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. citation courtesy of