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

Impossibility theorems in the arrovian framework

In: Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare

Listed author(s):
  • Campbell, Donald E.
  • Kelly, Jerry S.
Registered author(s):

    Given a set of outcomes that affect the welfare of the members of a group, K.J. Arrow imposed the following five conditions on the ordering of the outcomes as a function of the preferences of the individual group members, and then proved that the conditions are logically inconsistent:- The social choice rule is defined for a large family of assignments of transitive orderings to individuals.- The social ordering itself is always transitive.- The social choice rule is not dictatorial. (An individual is a dictator if the social ordering ranks an outcome x strictly above another outcome y whenever that individual strictly prefers x to y.)- If everyone in the group strictly prefers outcome x to outcome y, then x should rank strictly above y in the social ordering.- The social ordering of any two outcomes depends only on the way that the individuals in the group order those same two outcomes.The chapter proves Arrow's theorem and investigates the possibility of uncovering a satisfactory social choice rule by relaxing the conditions while remaining within the Arrovian framework, which is identified by the following five characteristics:- The outcome set is unstructured.- The society is finite and fixed.- Only information about the ordering of the outcome set is used to convey information about individual welfare.- The output of the social choice process is an ordering of the outcome set.- Strategic play by individuals is not considered.

    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: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    in new window

    This chapter was published in:
  • K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), 2002. "Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
  • This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare with number 1-01.
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socchp:1-01
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    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:eee:socchp:1-01. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

    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.