IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/gat/wpaper/1841.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Kenneth Arrow, moral obligations, and public policies

Author

Listed:
  • Susumu Cato

    (Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.)

  • Adrien Lutz

    (Univ Lyon, UJM Saint-Etienne, GATE UMR 5824, F-42023 Saint- Etienne, France)

Abstract

Kenneth Arrow is a founder of the social choice theory as well as a main developer of modern theories of market economies. Moral obligations and social norms are at the core of Arrow's ethical considerations to understand and overcome his well-known impossibility theorem of preference aggregation. Interestingly, he thinks that moral obligations and social norms are very important to overcome failures of market economies. Also, he proposed some interaction between public policies and evolution of social norms. Here, we can find a consistent and systematic thinking of Arrow's ethical considerations, which might be overlooked in spite of its importance. We believe that Arrow has political philosophy (or a theory of justice), which is quite useful to understand recent developments of behavioral economics and theories of non-market economies. Arrow's thought is totally different from Amartya Sen and John Rawls, which are dominant in modern theories of justice. Arrow's approach can shed some new lights on the subject of social justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Susumu Cato & Adrien Lutz, 2018. "Kenneth Arrow, moral obligations, and public policies," Working Papers 1841, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1841
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.gate.cnrs.fr/RePEc/2018/1841.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Thomson, William, 2011. "Chapter Twenty-One - Fair Allocation Rules," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 21, pages 393-506, Elsevier.
    3. Inada, Ken-Ichi, 1969. "The Simple Majority Decision Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 490-506, July.
    4. Victor R. Fuchs, 1996. "Individual and Social Responsibility: Child Care, Education, Medical Care, and Long-Term Care in America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch96-1, September.
    5. R. H. Coase, 2013. "The Problem of Social Cost," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 837-877.
    6. Marc Fleurbaey & Philippe Mongin, 2005. "The news of the death of welfare economics is greatly exaggerated," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 25(2), pages 381-418, December.
    7. Fleurbaey,Marc & Maniquet,François, 2011. "A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521887427.
    8. Abram Bergson, 1954. "On the Concept of Social Welfare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 233-252.
    9. Sen, Amartya K, 1979. "Personal Utilities and Public Judgements: Or What's Wrong with Welfare Economics?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(355), pages 537-558, September.
    10. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1996. "Information, Responsibility, and Human Services," NBER Chapters, in: Individual and Social Responsibility: Child Care, Education, Medical Care, and Long-Term Care in America, pages 229-244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Fuchs, Victor R. (ed.), 1996. "Individual and Social Responsibility," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226267869, February.
    12. Kotaro Suzumura, 2005. "An interview with Paul Samuelson: welfare economics, “old” and “new”, and social choice theory," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 25(2), pages 327-356, December.
    13. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1985. "Distributive Justice and Desirable Ends of Economic Activity," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: George R. Feiwel (ed.), Issues in Contemporary Macroeconomics and Distribution, chapter 3, pages 134-156, Palgrave Macmillan.
    14. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    15. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "The Place of Institutions in the Economy: A Theoretical Perspective," International Economic Association Series, in: Yujiro Hayami & Masahiko Aoki (ed.), The Institutional Foundations of East Asian Economic Development, chapter 2, pages 39-48, Palgrave Macmillan.
    16. 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.
    17. I. M. D. Little, 1952. "Social Choice and Individual Values," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 422-422.
    18. Fleurbaey, Marc & Suzumura, Kotaro & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2005. "Arrovian aggregation in economic environments: how much should we know about indifference surfaces?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 22-44, September.
    19. Sen, Amartya & Pattanaik, Prasanta K., 1969. "Necessary and sufficient conditions for rational choice under majority decision," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 178-202, August.
    20. Susumu Cato, 2014. "Independence of irrelevant alternatives revisited," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 511-527, April.
    21. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1974. "General Economic Equilibrium: Purpose, Analytic Techniques, Collective Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 253-272, June.
    22. Hammond, Peter J, 1976. "Equity, Arrow's Conditions, and Rawls' Difference Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 793-804, July.
    23. K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2.
    24. Borovoy, Amy & Roberto, Christina A., 2015. "Japanese and American public health approaches to preventing population weight gain: A role for paternalism?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 62-70.
    25. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434-434.
    26. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    27. Gerard Debreu, 1963. "On a Theorem of Scarf," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 177-180.
    28. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    29. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1987. "Arrow on Arrow: an Interview," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: George R. Feiwel (ed.), Arrow and the Foundations of the Theory of Economic Policy, chapter 23, pages 637-657, Palgrave Macmillan.
    30. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    31. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-157, Jan.-Feb..
    32. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
    33. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2001. "Any Non-welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 281-286, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Razzu, 2021. "Economics and duty-motivated choices," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-02, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    2. Marc Fleurbaey & Ravi Kanbur & Dennis Snower & Dennis J. Snower, 2021. "Efficiency and Equity in a Society-Economy Integrated Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 9259, CESifo.
    3. Marc Fleurbaey & Ravi Kanbur & Dennis Snower, 2021. "Eciency and equity in a society-economy integrated model," Working Papers hal-03426127, HAL.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John A. Weymark, 2017. "Conundrums for nonconsequentialists," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(2), pages 269-294, February.
    2. 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.
    3. John A Weymark, 2012. "Social Welfare Functions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers vuecon-sub-13-00018, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    4. Mongin, Philippe, 2019. "Interview of Peter J. Hammond," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 50, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.
    5. Wesley H. Holliday & Eric Pacuit, 2020. "Arrow’s decisive coalitions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 54(2), pages 463-505, March.
    6. Maurice Salles, 2006. "La théorie du choix social : de l'importance des mathématiques," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 200617, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    7. Antoinette Baujard, 2016. "Utilitarianism and anti-utilitarianism," Chapters, in: Gilbert Faccarello & Heinz D. Kurz (ed.), Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume III, chapter 40, pages 576-588, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Leo Katz & Alvaro Sandroni, 2020. "Limits on power and rationality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 54(2), pages 507-521, March.
    9. John A. Weymark, 2011. "On Kolm’s Use of Epistemic Counterfactuals in Social Choice Theory," Studies in Choice and Welfare, in: Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John A. Weymark (ed.), Social Ethics and Normative Economics, pages 279-301, Springer.
    10. repec:hal:journl:dumas-00906152 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Songtao Wang & Bin Li & Tristan Kenderdine, 2019. "Towards a Utilitarian Social Welfare Function¡ªIncome Inequality and National Welfare Growth in China," Research in World Economy, Research in World Economy, Sciedu Press, vol. 10(3), pages 344-358, December.
    12. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," SIRE Discussion Papers 2014-016, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    13. Robert Oxoby, 2013. "Paretian dictators: constraining choice in a voluntary contribution game," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 125-138, June.
    14. Itai Sher, 2020. "How perspective-based aggregation undermines the Pareto principle," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 19(2), pages 182-205, May.
    15. Kevin Roberts, 2005. "Social Choice Theory and the Informational Basis Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 247, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    16. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gevers, Louis, 2002. "Social welfare functionals and interpersonal comparability," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 459-541, Elsevier.
    17. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    18. Nikolai Hoberg & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2014. "Value pluralism, trade-offs and efficiencies," Working Paper Series in Economics 311, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    19. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," SIRE Discussion Papers 2014-016, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    20. Gabriel Leite Mota, 2007. "Why Should Happiness Have a Role in Welfare Economics? Happiness versus Orthodoxy and Capabilities," FEP Working Papers 253, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    21. Susumu Cato, 2014. "Common preference, non-consequential features, and collective decision making," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 18(4), pages 265-287, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Efficiency; Equity; Social justice; Moral obligation; Social choice; Communitarianism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1841. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/gateefr.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Nelly Wirth The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Nelly Wirth to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/gateefr.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.