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An impossibility theorem for spatial models

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  • Kim Border

Abstract

This paper examines the implications for social welfare functions of restricting the domain of individual preferences to type-one preferences. Type-one preferences assume that each person has a most preferred alternative in a euclidean space and that alternatives are ranked according to their euclidean distance from this point. The result is that if we impose Arrow's conditions of collective rationality, IIA, and the Pareto principle on the social welfare function, then it must be dictatorial. This result may not seem surprising, but it stands in marked contrast to the problem considered by Gibbard and Satterthwaite of finding a social-choice function. With unrestricted domain, under the Gibbard-Satterthwaite hypotheses, choices must be dictatorial. With type-one preferences this result has been previously shown not to be true. This finding identifies a significant difference between the Arrow and Gibbard-Satterthwaite problems. Copyright Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1984

Suggested Citation

  • Kim Border, 1984. "An impossibility theorem for spatial models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 293-305, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:43:y:1984:i:3:p:293-305
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00118938
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fishburn, Peter C., 1970. "Arrow's impossibility theorem: Concise proof and infinite voters," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 103-106, March.
    2. James Enelow & Melvin Hinisch, 1983. "On Plott's pairwise symmetry condition for majority rule equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 317-321, January.
    3. Border, Kim C., 1983. "Social welfare functions for economic environments with and without the pareto principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 205-216, April.
    4. Satterthwaite, Mark Allen, 1975. "Strategy-proofness and Arrow's conditions: Existence and correspondence theorems for voting procedures and social welfare functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-217, April.
    5. Kirman, Alan P. & Sondermann, Dieter, 1972. "Arrow's theorem, many agents, and invisible dictators," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 267-277, October.
    6. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
    7. Ehud Kalai & Eitan Muller & Mark Satterthwaite, 1979. "Social welfare functions when preferences are convex, strictly monotonic, and continuous," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 87-97, March.
    8. Bengt Hansson, 1976. "The existence of group preference functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 89-98, December.
    9. Gibbard, Allan, 1973. "Manipulation of Voting Schemes: A General Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 587-601, July.
    10. Kalai, Ehud & Muller, Eitan, 1977. "Characterization of domains admitting nondictatorial social welfare functions and nonmanipulable voting procedures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 457-469, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Le Breton, Michel & Weymark, John A., 2002. "Arrovian Social Choice Theory on Economic Domains," IDEI Working Papers 143, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Sep 2003.
    2. Ehlers, Lars & Storcken, Ton, 2009. "Oligarchies in spatial environments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3-4), pages 250-256, March.
    3. Walter Bossert & John A. Weymark, 2006. "Social Choice: Recent Developments," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0603, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    4. Grigoriev, A. & van de Klundert, J., 2001. "Throughput rate optimization in high multiplicity sequencing problems," Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    5. Michel Le Breton & John A. Weymark, 2002. "Social choice with analytic preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 19(3), pages 637-657.
    6. Weymark, John A., 1998. "Welfarism on economic domains1," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 251-268, December.

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