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Social Choice Theory: A Re-Examination

Amartya Sen
Econometrica
Vol. 45, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. 53-88
Published by: The Econometric Society
DOI: 10.2307/1913287
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1913287
Page Count: 37
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Social Choice Theory: A Re-Examination
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Abstract

Recent developments in social choice theory are critically surveyed in the light of a categorization of interpersonal aggregation problems into four distinct types that seem to require varying treatment but typically do not receive it. Informational inadequacy of the usual social choice framework is discussed in this context. A fairly thorough exploration of the correspondences between consistency conditions for choice functions and regularity properties of the binary relation of preference leads to a re-examination of the class of "impossibility" results in social choice theory, necessitating reinterpretations of various theorems (including arrow's).

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