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Lexicographic Compositions of Multiple Criteria for Decision Making


  • Houy, Nicolas
  • Tadenuma, Koichi


This paper considers two distinct procedures to lexicographically compose multiple criteria for social or individual decision making. The first procedure composes M binary relations into one, and then selects its maximal elements. The second procedure first selects the set of maximal elements of the first binary relation, and then within that set, chooses the maximal elements of the second binary relation, and iterates the procedure until the M th binary relation. We show several distinct sets of conditions for the choice functions representing these two procedures to satisfy non-emptiness and choice-consistency conditions such as contraction consistency (Chernoff, 1954) and path independence (Arrow, 1963). We also examine the relationships between the outcomes of the two procedures. Then, we investigate under what conditions the outcomes of each procedure are independent of the order of lexicographic application of the criteria. Examples for applications of the results in the economic environments are also presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Houy, Nicolas & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2007. "Lexicographic Compositions of Multiple Criteria for Decision Making," Discussion Papers 2007-13, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:econdp:2007-13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feldman, Allan M & Kirman, Alan, 1974. "Fairness and Envy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 995-1005, December.
    2. Koichi Tadenuma, 2005. "Egalitarian-equivalence and the Pareto principle for social preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(3), pages 455-473, June.
    3. Hammond, Peter J, 1976. "Equity, Arrow's Conditions, and Rawls' Difference Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 793-804, July.
    4. Blair, Douglas H. & Bordes, Georges & Kelly, Jerry S. & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1976. "Impossibility theorems without collective rationality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 361-379, December.
    5. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    6. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
    7. Suzumura, Kotaro, 1981. "On pareto-efficiency and the no-envy concept of equity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 367-379, December.
    8. Houy Nicolas, 2007. "Rationality and Order-Dependent Sequential Rationality," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 119-134, March.
    9. Elisha A. Pazner & David Schmeidler, 1978. "Egalitarian Equivalent Allocations: A New Concept of Economic Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 671-687.
    10. Plott, Charles R, 1973. "Path Independence, Rationality, and Social Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1075-1091, November.
    11. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1977. "Extended Sympathy and the Possibility of Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 219-225, February.
    12. Tadenuma, Koichi, 2002. "Efficiency First or Equity First? Two Principles and Rationality of Social Choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 462-472, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matsuki, Jun & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2013. "Choice via Grouping Procedures," Discussion Papers 2013-08, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
    3. Renou, Ludovic & Schlag, Karl H., 2014. "Ordients: Optimization and comparative statics without utility functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 612-632.
    4. Mandler, Michael & Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2012. "A million answers to twenty questions: Choosing by checklist," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 71-92.
    5. Mandler, Michael, 2015. "Rational agents are the quickest," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 206-233.
    6. García-Sanz, María D. & Alcantud, José Carlos R., 2015. "Sequential rationalization of multivalued choice," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 29-33.
    7. C. Binder, 2014. "Plural identities and preference formation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(4), pages 959-976, April.
    8. repec:spr:joecth:v:65:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00199-016-1006-z is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Rohan Dutta & Sean Horan, 2015. "Inferring Rationales from Choice: Identification for Rational Shortlist Methods," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 179-201, November.
    10. Nikolai Hoberg & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2014. "Value pluralism, trade-offs and efficiencies," Working Paper Series in Economics 311, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    11. Salvador Barberà & Alejandro Neme, 2015. "Ordinal Relative Satisficing Behavior: Theory and Experiments," Working Papers 790, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    12. Bleile, Jörg, 2016. "Limited Attention in Case-Based Belief Formation," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 518, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    13. Ludovic Renou & Karl H. Schlag, 2009. "From Ordients to Optimization: Substitution Effects without Differentiability," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/6, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    14. Sandroni, Alvaro & Cherepavov, Vadim & Feddersen, Timothy, 2013. "Rationalization," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), September.

    More about this item


    multiple criteria for choice; lexicographic application; choice consistency; path independence; order independence;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions


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