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Does market coordination lead to justice or to strict efficiency in Social Choice and Individual Values?


  • Irène Berthonnet


  • Vincent Desreumaux



The paper tries to clarify the status of the market in Social Choice and Individual Values. It shows how Arrow at first intended to propose a third theorem of welfare economics (Feldman [1991]), which would show that the market achieves not only Pareto-optimality, but also equitable social allocations. The impossibility theorem proves this is impossible. Arrow’s solution to impossibility is interpreted here as a further limitation of the market’s objectives. At the end of the book, the market is presented as a technical mechanism that guarantees economic efficiency, if it doesn’t take individual values into consideration.

Suggested Citation

  • Irène Berthonnet & Vincent Desreumaux, 2014. "Does market coordination lead to justice or to strict efficiency in Social Choice and Individual Values?," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 66, pages 95-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2014:i:66:p:95-126

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier Godard, 1990. "Environnement, modes de coordination et systèmes de légitimité : analyse de la catégorie de patrimoine naturel," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 41(2), pages 215-242.
    2. Claude Henry, 1984. "La microéconomie comme langage et enjeu de négociations," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 35(1), pages 177-198.
    3. Thierry Hommel & Olivier Godard, 2002. "Trajectoire de contestabilité sociale et production d'OGM à usage agricole," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 270(1), pages 36-49.
    4. Driessen, Peter P. J. & Glasbergen, Pieter & Verdaas, Co, 2001. "Interactive policy-making - a model of management for public works," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 128(2), pages 322-337, January.
    5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    6. Jean-Charles Hourcade & Emeric Fortin, 2000. "Impact economique des politiques climatiques : des controverses aux enjeux de coordination," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 82, pages 45-74.
    7. Olivier Barreteau, 2003. "The Joint Use of Role-Playing Games and Models Regarding Negotiation Processes: Characterization of Associations," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 6(2), pages 1-3.
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    More about this item


    Impossibility theorem; welfare economics; values; social welfare function; economic efficiency.;

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations


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