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Social choice with a continuous ordering function

Author

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  • Alex Coram

    () (Robert Gordon University, Scotland, and The University of Western Australia)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to get some fresh insights into social choice problems by treating the aggregation procedure as a continuous ordering of the reports individuals give of the value they attach to different states of the world where these reports are treated as a continuous path in n dimensional space. This approach allows us to ask different sorts of questions that belong more naturally to a continuous framework. It also allows us to exploit readily available tools of algebra and analysis in order to get some different insights into the kind of information conditions that make coherent collective decisions possible, or cause them to fail. What the paper says, roughly, is that the initial reports must contain sufficient information to allow their dimension to be reduced in a consistent manner. In particular it shows that an additive welfare function of the Bergson- Samuelson sort seems to have some properties that give it a natural appeal. JEL Categories: C65, D71.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Coram, 2006. "Social choice with a continuous ordering function," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2006-09, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2006-09
    as

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    File URL: http://www.umass.edu/economics/publications/2008-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Moulin,Hervi, 1991. "Axioms of Cooperative Decision Making," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521424585.
    3. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1983. "Social choice and game theory: recent results with a topological approach," MPRA Paper 8059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Uzi Segal, 2000. "Let's Agree That All Dictatorships Are Equally Bad," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 569-589, June.
    5. Maurice Salles, 2005. "Social Choice," Post-Print halshs-00337075, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social choice; continuous mappings; impossibility theorems; Borsuk-Ulam theorem.;

    JEL classification:

    • C65 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Miscellaneous Mathematical Tools
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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