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By Wulf Gaertner

This introductory textual content explores the idea of social selection. Written as a primer appropriate for complicated undergraduates and graduates, this article will act as a tremendous start line for college students grappling with the complexities of social selection conception. Rigorous but available, this primer avoids using technical language and offers an updated dialogue of this quickly constructing box. this can be the 1st in a chain of texts released in organization with the LSE.

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

Example text

If a remains at the top, raise b in individual 2’s ranking until it reaches the top, then do the 24 ARROW’S IMPOSSIBILITY RESULT same in the third, fourth, . . individual’s ranking. We know from the weak Pareto condition that ‘in the end’, when we have moved b to the top of every individual’s ranking, the social relation will rank b above a. We now focus on individual m where, after b has risen to the top in his or her ordering, b for the first time is socially preferred to a. 2 show the situation just before and just after b was raised to the top of individual m’s ordering.

1970b). Collective Choice and Social Welfare, chapter 3. San Francisco, Cambridge: Holden-Day. b HISTORICAL SOURCE Arrow, K. J. (1951, 1963). ), chapter 5. New York: John Wiley. b MORE ADVANCED Sen, A. K. (1995). ‘Rationality and Social Choice’. American Economic Review, 85: 1–24. 1. The simple majority rule We have seen in Chapter 2 that any social welfare function satisfying unrestricted domain and the weak Pareto condition as well as Arrow’s independence condition and the requirement that the generated social relation be an ordering is doomed to be dictatorial.

Condition U requires that no individual preference ordering be excluded a priori. Even the ‘most odd’ ordering(s) should be taken into consideration. Condition P, the weak Pareto rule, prescribes that if all individuals unanimously strictly prefer x to an alternative y, the same should hold for society’s preference. Condition I , perhaps a bit more difficult to understand than the other conditions, demands that the social welfare function be parsimonious in informational requirements. More concretely, if society is to take a decision with respect to some pair of alternatives (x, y), only the individuals’ THE ORIGINAL PROOF 19 preferences with respect to this pair should be taken into consideration and not more.

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