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Introduction to social choice and welfare

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  • Kotaro Suzumura

    (Institute of Economic Research Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan)

Abstract

Social choice theory is concerned with the evaluation of alternative methods of collective decision-making, as well as with the logical foundations of welfare economics. In turn, welfare economics is concerned with the critical scrutiny of the performance of actual and/or imaginary economic systems, as well as with the critique, design and implementation of alternative economic policies. The Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, which is edited by Kenneth Arrow, Amartya Sen and Kotaro Suzumura, presents, in two volumes, essays on past and on-going work in social choice theory and welfare economics. This paper is written as an extensive introduction to the Handbook with the purpose of placing the broad issues examined in the two volumes in better perspective, discussing the historical background of social choice theory, the vistas opened by Arrow's Social Choice and Individual Values, the famous "socialist planning" controversy, and the theoretical and practical significance of social choice theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Kotaro Suzumura, 2002. "Introduction to social choice and welfare," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 442, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_442_02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Schools of Economic Thought, Epistemology of Economics > Heterodox Approaches > Thermoeconomics > Bifurcations of the entropy law

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social choice theory; welfare economics; socialist planning controversy; social welfare function; Arrovian impossibility theorems; voting schemes; implementation theory; equity and justice; welfare and rights; functioning and capability; procedural fairness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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