A Primer in Social Choice Theory (LSE Perspectives in by Wulf Gaertner

By Wulf Gaertner

This introductory textual content explores the speculation of social selection. Written as a primer compatible for complicated undergraduates and graduates, this article will act as a big start line for college kids grappling with the complexities of social selection concept. Rigorous but obtainable, this primer avoids using technical language and gives an updated dialogue of this speedily constructing box. this is often the 1st in a sequence of texts released in organization with the LSE.

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Extra resources for A Primer in Social Choice Theory (LSE Perspectives in Economic Analysis)

Example text

The latter can be interpreted as the societal outcome of an effort to maximize the product of the net utility gains of all participants. Chapter 9 explores two different but somewhat related ways to find out how people (students) evaluate particular situations that are shaped by aspects of needs or efficiency or simply are a matter of taste. ‘Empirical social choice’ is a fairly recent phenomenon, at least when compared with the vast body of literature in the field of experimental game theory which was started roughly 40 years ago.

This phenomenon has sometimes been called a contagion property. Sen (1995) speaks of ‘field-expansion’ in this context. We start with two definitions which will prove to be very helpful in the sequel. 1. A set of individuals V is almost decisive for some x against some y if, whenever xPi y for every i in V and yPi x for every i outside of V , x is socially preferred to y (xPy). 2. A set of individuals V is decisive for some x against some y if, whenever xPi y for every i in V , xPy. 20 ARROW’S IMPOSSIBILITY RESULT We now concentrate on a particular individual J and denote the ‘fact’ that person J is almost decisive for x against y by D(x, y) and the ‘fact’ that J is ¯ ¯ decisive for x against y by D(x, y).

Therefore, the aggregation scheme could be such that whenever this particular person prefers a to b, society should prefer b to a. e. everybody strictly prefers c to d. Should society now prefer d to c? This outcome would violate one of the basic properties in the sense used above, viz. the weak Pareto principle to be defined below. Another aggregation rule could declare that whenever a particular option z is among those alternatives about which the members of the society should make up their mind, alternative z should always be preferred to each of the other options.

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