Arrovian aggregation in economic environments: How much should we know about indifference surfaces?

Marc Fleurbaey, Kotaro Suzumura, Koichi Tadenuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Arrow's celebrated theorem of social choice shows that the aggregation of individual preferences into a social ordering cannot make the ranking of any pair of alternatives depend only on individual preferences over that pair, unless the fundamental weak Pareto and non-dictatorship principles are violated. In the standard model of division of commodities, we investigate how much information about indifference surfaces is needed to construct social ordering functions satisfying the weak Pareto principle and anonymity. We show that local information such as marginal rates of substitution or the shapes "within the Edgeworth box" is not enough, and knowledge of substantially non-local information is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-44
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Volume124
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

Keywords

  • Independence of irrelevant alternatives
  • Indifference surfaces
  • Information
  • Preference aggregation
  • Social choice

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