A Quest for Fundamental Theorems of Social Choice
17 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2012 Last revised: 23 Sep 2014
Date Written: October 28, 2012
We explore the frontier between possibility and impossibility results by analyzing different combinations of "pro-socialness" and "consistency" conditions. This exercise delivers stronger versions of four classical impossibility theorems, and offers a thorough understanding of connections among them. We also characterize social choice functions that are "independent of irrelevant alternatives," which makes evident that the fundamental difficulty of social choice lies in "pairwise" consistency requirements. We also introduce a concise pedagogical approach to classical impossibility theorems.
Keywords: Social choice and welfare, Arrow's impossibility theorem, Hansson-Denicol\`o theorem, Muller-Satterthwaite theorem, Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem
JEL Classification: D7, D70, D71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation