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Alcalde-Unzu, Jorge
Ballester, Miguel A.
Nieto, Jorge
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[Journal:] SERIEs - Journal of the Spanish Economic Association [ISSN:] 1869-4195 [Publisher:] Springer [Place:] Heidelberg [Volume:] 3 [Year:] 2012 [Issue:] 1/2 [Pages:] 209-226
This essay deals with the notion and content of freedom of choice proposing a new set up and a new family of measures for this concept which is, indeed, an ethical value of paramount importance in a well ordered and open society. Following some ideas of John StuartMill, we propose that freedom of choice has to be understood not in a single stage of choice, but in the ordered collection of choices that a person can make in her life.We then suggest to represent a life in a tree structure, where each node represents a state of life and the edges between nodes will represent possible decisions in life. In this new framework, we propose a set of axioms that imply the following family of measures of lifetime's freedom of choice: the lifetime's freedom of choice has to be evaluated by a weighted sum of all possible states of life an individual might visit, with weights representing the number of decisions the individual took to reach that state.
freedom of choice
tree of life
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