Hayek, Arrow, and the Problems of Democratic Decision-Making

Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Vol. 20, 2002

7 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2005 Last revised: 27 Feb 2012

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Abstract

Both Hayek and Arrow provide arguments about the inability of the vote process to yield a coherent social choice. Hayek demonstrated that planning is incompatible with democracy; its coherence requires dictatorship. Arrow demonstrated that voting fails to produce rational social choices; social rationality can be assured only when there is a single will. In both, the substitution of a single will for many wills is ruled as incompatible with a free society. Because market socialism relies upon either the existence of a meaningful, stable social welfare function or democratic decision-making to allocate resources, the complementary arguments of Hayek and Arrow imply that market socialism requires dictatorship to achieve coherence.

Keywords: Social Choice, Austrian Economics

JEL Classification: D71, B53

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Leeson, Peter T., Hayek, Arrow, and the Problems of Democratic Decision-Making. Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Vol. 20, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=869142

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.peterleeson.com

Paper statistics

Downloads
111
Rank
202,946
Abstract Views
1,039