Delegation or Abrogation: The Impossibility of Objective Social Welfare Maximisation by Government
16 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2014
Date Written: March 4, 2008
A model widely used for decisions which have a public interest element is delegation of parliamentary authority to a bureaucratic agency, within the confines of a legislative framework which directs the relevant agents how social welfare should be maximised within the context of the issue at hand. This is intended to remove the politicisation of decision-making, and allow for an objective approach. However, except in very limited circumstances, it is unlikely that bureaucratic agents will be able to act in this fashion. Using Arrow’s (1950) Impossibility Theorem, this paper outlines why this is the case, and the consequences of delegation.
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