IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Welfarist-Consequentialism, Similarity of Attitudes and Arrow's Gerneral Impossibility Theorem


  • Kotaro Suzumura
  • Yongsheng Xu


Two features of Arrow's social choice theory are critically scrutinized. The first feature is the welfarist-consequentialism, which not only bases social judgements about right or wrong actions on the assessment of their consequences, but also assesses consequences in terms of people's welfare and nothing else. The second feature is a similarity of people's attitudes towards social outcomes as a possible resolvent of the Arrow impossibility theorem. Two extended frameworks, one consequentialist and the other non-consequentialist, are developed. Both frameworks are shown to admit some interesting resolutions of Arrow's general impossibility theorem, which are rather sharply contrasting with Arrow's own perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Kotaro Suzumura & Yongsheng Xu, 1999. "Welfarist-Consequentialism, Similarity of Attitudes and Arrow's Gerneral Impossibility Theorem," Discussion Paper Series a366, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hituec:a366

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pattanaik, Prasanta K & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1996. "Individual Rights and Social Evaluation: A Conceptual Framework," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 194-212, April.
    2. Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Xu, Yongsheng, 2000. "On diversity and freedom of choice," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 123-130, September.
    3. Gravel, Nicolas, 1994. "Can a Ranking of Opportunity Sets Attach an Intrinsic Importance to Freedom of Choice?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 454-458, May.
    4. Nicolas Gravel, 1998. "Ranking opportunity sets on the basis of their freedom of choice and their ability to satisfy preferences: A difficulty," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(3), pages 371-382.
    5. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
    6. Pattanaik, Prasanta K & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1994. "Rights, Welfarism, and Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 435-439, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Bossert Walter & Pattanaik Prasanta K. & Xu Yongsheng, 1994. "Ranking Opportunity Sets: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 326-345, August.
    9. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Markets and Freedoms: Achievements and Limitations of the Market Mechanism in Promoting Individual Freedoms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 519-541, October.
    10. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "Freedom of choice : Concept and content," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 269-294, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Yukinori Iwata, 2009. "Consequences, opportunities, and Arrovian impossibility theorems with consequentialist domains," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 32(3), pages 513-531, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Walter Bossert & Marc Fleurbaey, 2015. "An Interview with Kotaro Suzumura," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(1), pages 179-208, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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


    Access and download statistics


    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:hit:hituec:a366. 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: (Hiromichi Miyake). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.