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Decisions and Elections

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  • Saari,Donald G.

Abstract

It is not uncommon to be frustrated by the outcome of an election or a decision in voting, law, economics, engineering, and other fields. Does this 'bad' result reflect poor data or poorly informed voters? Or does the disturbing conclusion reflect the choice of the decision/election procedure? Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow's famed theorem has been interpreted to mean 'no decision procedure is without flaws'. Similarly, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen dashes hope for individual liberties by showing their incompatibility with societal needs. This highly accessible book offers a new, different interpretation and resolution of Arrow's and Sen's theorems. Using simple mathematics, it shows that these negative conclusions arise because, in each case, some of their assumptions negate other crucial assumptions. Once this is understood, not only do the conclusions become expected, but a wide class of other phenomena can also be anticipated.

Suggested Citation

  • Saari,Donald G., 2001. "Decisions and Elections," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521808163, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521808163
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