Considers interpersonal comparison of utility in game theory. A value theory useful for bargaining games requires that the utilities be measurable (cardinal); a mere ranking of preferences (ordinal utilities) is not adequate. This reflects reality, since the very nature of bargaining tests the bargainers' intensity: utility differences become comparable between persons, who must decide not only what they want but how badly they want it. The interpersonal utility comparisons that figure in negotiatory processes may aim at efficiency (maximization of total payoffs, social welfare) or at being equitable (sharing of social profit). An outcome is acceptable as the value of the game only if there exist scaling factors for the individual utilities under which the outcome is both equitable and efficient. (A preprint from the international colloquium, "La Decision: Agregation et Dynamique des Ordres de Preference," Aix-en-Provence, July 3-7, 1967.)
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.