Gödel, Kaplow, Shavell: Consistency and Completeness in Social Decisionmaking
24 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2003
The recent debate on what criteria ought to guide social decisionmaking has focused on consistency: it has been argued that criteria contradicting one another - namely, welfare and fairness - should not be simultaneously employed in order for policy assessment to be consistent. In this article, I raise the related problem of completeness - that is, the question of whether or not a set of consistent criteria is capable of providing answers to all social decision problems. If not, as I suggest might be the case, then the only way to decide otherwise undecidable issues is to simultaneously employ both welfare and fairness, which implies a certain degree of inconsistency within the system.
Keywords: completeness, consistencey, efficiency, fairness,values
JEL Classification: A12, A13, K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation