IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Filtering: An Approach to Generating the Information Base for Collective Choice

Listed author(s):
  • George Abonyi

    (University of Ottawa)

Nonmarket resource allocation decisions require some means for generating information on relevant preferences. This is part of the role of a collective choice process. Implicit in the optimization techniques central to MS/OR is the assumption that makes collective choice equivalent to the optimization of a social preference function. This paper proposes an alternative approach to collective choice, called "filtering," and compares it with the general optimization approach. Though not foreclosing the use of optimization techniques, filtering represents a fundamental departure from the perspective on collective choice implicit in these techniques. The fundamental advantage of filtering is that it increases the likelihood of collective agreement on specific plans, while minimizing the strategic use of misinformation. The general logic of filtering may be implemented via a variety of interactive methods. The information generated can contribute to more stable and implementable plans. Filtering responds to a societal context characterized more by diversity of interests than uniformity, and as much concerned with the possible adverse consequences of plans proposed by "experts" as with their promised benefits. The more modest objective of collective choice supported by filtering is to identify collectively acceptable plans for interdependent social groups whose goals and preferences may not be fully known. This supports the need for participation by relevant interests in the planning process. In general, filtering provides a framework for "joint charting" of the future collaboratively, by aiming at the evolution of a "reasonable consensus" from a base of what may appear initially to be "unreasonable vetoes."

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 29 (1983)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 409-418

in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:29:y:1983:i:4:p:409-418
Contact details of provider: Postal:
7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:29:y:1983:i:4:p:409-418. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.