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On rationalizability of choice functions: A characterization of the median

Author

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  • Wulf Gaertner

    (Department of Economics, University of Osnabrück, D-49069 Osnabrück, Germany)

  • Yongsheng Xu

    (Department of Economics, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK)

Abstract

In this paper we characterize choice behaviour that picks the median element from a set of feasible alternatives. It is easily seen that this choice behaviour violates most of the standard consistency conditions for set contraction and set expansion. The paper offers a complete characterization in terms of pure choice function conditions, and contrasts the new axiom set with the traditional consistency conditions. It also suggests alternative external references which could explain the choice of the median.

Suggested Citation

  • Wulf Gaertner & Yongsheng Xu, 1999. "On rationalizability of choice functions: A characterization of the median," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(4), pages 629-638.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:16:y:1999:i:4:p:629-638 Note: Received: 2 June 1997/Accepted: 27 July 1998
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. BLACKORBY, Charles & BOSSERT, Walter, 2004. "Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being," Cahiers de recherche 2004-06, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
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    3. Geir Asheim & Bertil Tungodden, 2004. "Resolving distributional conflicts between generations," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(1), pages 221-230, July.
    4. Van Liedekerke, Luc & Lauwers, Luc, 1997. "Sacrificing the Patrol: Utilitarianism, Future Generations and Infinity," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 159-174, October.
    5. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2007. "Utilitarianism for infinite utility streams: A new welfare criterion and its axiomatic characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 350-373, March.
    6. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2005. "On the Existence of Paretian Social Welfare Relations for Infinite Utility Streams with Extended Anonymity," Working Papers 05-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    7. Svensson, Lars-Gunnar, 1980. "Equity among Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1251-1256, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Bossert & Kotaro Suzumura, 2011. "Rationality, external norms, and the epistemic value of menus," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 37(4), pages 729-741, October.
    2. Tyson, Christopher J., 2008. "Cognitive constraints, contraction consistency, and the satisficing criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 51-70.
    3. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2004. "Rationalizing Boundedly Rational Choice: Sequential Rationalizability and Rational Shortlist Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 1239, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Ritxar Arlegi, 2001. "Rational Evaluation of Actions Under Complete Uncertainty," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0114, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
    5. Donald Katzner, 2000. "Culture and the Explanation of Choice behavior," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 241-262.
    6. Gaertner, Wulf & Xu, Yongsheng, 1997. "Optimization and external reference; a comparison of three axiomatic systems," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 57-62, November.
    7. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2004. "Rationalizing Boundedly Rational Choice," Microeconomics 0407005, EconWPA, revised 21 Dec 2005.
    8. Sebastiano Bavetta & Marco Del Seta, 2001. "Constraints and the Measurement of Freedom of Choice," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 213-238.

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