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Sen's Theorem: Geometric Proof, New Interpretations


Lingfang (Ivy) Li


Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Donald G. Saari


University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

July 11, 2007

Social Choice and Welfare, Vol. 31, pp. 393-413, 2008

Abstract:     
Sen's classic social choice result supposedly demonstrates a conflict between Pareto and even minimal forms of liberalism. By providing the first direct mathematical proof of this seminal result, we underscore a significantly different interpretation: rather than conflicts among rights, Sen's result occurs because the liberalism assumption negates the assumption that voters have transitive preferences. This explanation enriches interpretations of Sen's conclusion by including radically new kinds of societal conflicts, it suggests ways to sidestep these difficulties, and it explains earlier approaches to avoid the difficulties.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: Sen, Paretian liberal, paradox, decision theory

JEL Classification: D71, C72

working papers series


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Date posted: November 9, 2007 ; Last revised: August 29, 2013

Suggested Citation

Li, Lingfang (Ivy) and Saari, Donald G., Sen's Theorem: Geometric Proof, New Interpretations (July 11, 2007). Social Choice and Welfare, Vol. 31, pp. 393-413, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1028364 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1028364

Contact Information

Lingfang (Ivy) Li
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ( email )
777 Guoding Road
Shanghai, Shanghai 200433
China
HOME PAGE: http://www.ivy-li.net
Donald G. Saari (Contact Author)
University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )
3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States
(949) 824-5894 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


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