Mathematical social sciences vol:35 issue:1 pages:37-55
This paper continues work begun by Koopmans: how to order infinite utility, consumption, or payoff streams; and, in particular, how to provide an axiomatic basis for ordering them. Diamond's anonymity axiom is compatible with dictatorship and is therefore too weak. We motivate a form of anonymity that gives an equal weight to equally large coalitions, and investigate its implications. Medial limits are shown to satisfy this version of anonymity. A joint characterization reduces the choice between discounting rules and medial limits to the choice between anonymity and the strong Pareto principle. By means of an example we show that discounting optima may differ from anonymous optima in an essential way. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.