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A Behavioral Arrow Theorem



In light of research indicating that individual behavior may violate standard assumptions of rationality, we modify the standard model of preference aggregation to study the case in which neither individual nor collective preferences are required to satisfy transitivity or other coherence conditions. We introduce the concept of an ordinal rationality measure which can be used to compare preference relations in terms of their level of coherence. Using this measure, we introduce a monotonicity axiom which requires that the collective preference become more rational when the individual preferences become more rational. We show that for any ordinal rationality measure, it is impossible to nd a collective choice rule which satis es the monotonicity axiom and the other standard assumptions introduced by Arrow (1963): unrestricted domain, weak Pareto, independence of irrelevant alternatives, and nondictatorship.

Suggested Citation

  • Miller, Alan D. & Rachmilevitch, Shiran, "undated". "A Behavioral Arrow Theorem," Working Papers WP2012/7, University of Haifa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:haf:huedwp:wp201207

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andreu Mas-Colell & Hugo Sonnenschein, 1972. "General Possibility Theorems for Group Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(2), pages 185-192.
    2. Inada, Ken-Ichi, 1969. "The Simple Majority Decision Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 490-506, July.
    3. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2008. "On The Robustness of Majority Rule," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 949-973, September.
    4. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
    5. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
    6. B. Monjardet, 1978. "An Axiomatic Theory of Tournament Aggregation," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 3(4), pages 334-351, November.
    7. Amartya Kumar Sen, 1964. "Preferences, Votes and the Transitivity of Majority Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 163-165.
    8. Batra, Raveendra N & Pattanaik, Prasanta K, 1972. "Transitive Multi-Stage Majority Decisions with Quasi-Transitive Individual Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1121-1135, November.
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    More about this item


    Aggregation; Axioms; Intransitivity; Coherence; Monotonicity;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations


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