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Social choice and the closed convergence topology


  • Chichilnisky, Graciela


This paper revisits the aggregation theorem of Chichilnisky (1980), replacing the original smooth topology by the closed convergence topology and responding to several comments (N. Baigent (1984, 1985, 1987, 1989), N. Baigent and P. Huang (1990) and M. LeBreton and J. Uriarte (1900 a, b). Theorems 1 and 2 establish the contractibility of three spaces of preferences: the space of strictly quasiconcave preferences Psco, its subspace of smooth preferences Pssco, and a space P1 of smooth (not necessarily convex) preferences with a unique interior critical point (a maximum). The results are proven using both the closed convergence topology and the smooth topology. Because of their contractibility, these spaces satisfy the necessary and sufficient conditions of Chichilnisky and Heal (1983) for aggregation rules satisfying my axioms, which are valid in all topologies. Theorem 4 constructs a family of aggregation rules satisfying my axioms for these three spaces. What these spaces have in common is a unique maximum (or peak). This rather special property makes them contractible, and thus amenable to aggregation rules satisfying anonymity and unanimity, Chichilnisky (1980 1982). The results presented here clarify an erroneous example in LeBreton and Uriarte (1990a, b) and respond to Baigent (1984, 1985, 1987) and Baigent and Huang (1990) on the relative advantages of continuous and discrete approaches to Social Choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1990. "Social choice and the closed convergence topology," MPRA Paper 8353, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8353

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey, 1983. "Necessary and sufficient conditions for a resolution of the social choice paradox," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 68-87, October.
    2. Nick Baigent, 1989. "Some Further Remarks on Preference Proximity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 191-193.
    3. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1990. "On The Mathematical Foundations Of Political Economy," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 25-41.
    4. Debreu, Gerard, 1972. "Smooth Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(4), pages 603-615, July.
    5. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1979. "On fixed point theorems and social choice paradoxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 347-351.
    6. Nick Baigent, 1987. "Preference Proximity and Anonymous Social Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 161-169.
    7. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1983. "Social choice and game theory: recent results with a topological approach," MPRA Paper 8059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Maurice Salles, 2005. "Social Choice," Post-Print halshs-00337075, HAL.
    9. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1990. "General equilibrium and social choice with increasing returns," MPRA Paper 8124, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "A robust theory of resource allocation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(1), pages 1-10, January.

    More about this item


    topology; mathematical economics; social choice; preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics


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