A Behavioral Arrow Theorem

11 Pages Posted: 24 May 2012

See all articles by Alan D. Miller

Alan D. Miller

Faculty of Law, Western University

Shiran Rachmilevitch

University of Haifa

Date Written: May 23, 2012


In light of research indicating that individual behavior may violate standard assumptions of rationality, we modify the standard model of preference aggregation to study the case in which neither individual nor collective preferences are required to satisfy transitivity or other coherence conditions. We introduce the concept of an ordinal rationality measure which can be used to compare preference relations in terms of their level of coherence. Using this measure, we introduce a monotonicity axiom which requires that the collective preference become more rational when the individual preferences become more rational. We show that for any ordinal rationality measure, it is impossible to find a collective choice rule which satisfies the monotonicity axiom and the other standard assumptions introduced by Arrow (1963): unrestricted domain, weak Pareto, independence of irrelevant alternatives, and nondictatorship.

Keywords: aggregation, axioms, intransitivity, coherence, monotonicity, rationality, arrow's theorem

JEL Classification: D60, D70, D71

Suggested Citation

Miller, Alan D. and Rachmilevitch, Shiran, A Behavioral Arrow Theorem (May 23, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2065794 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2065794

Alan D. Miller (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Western University ( email )

1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario N6A3K7

HOME PAGE: http://alandmiller.com

Shiran Rachmilevitch

University of Haifa ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905

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