Social choice and just institutions: New perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has become accepted that social choice is impossible in the absence of interpersonal comparisons of well-being. This view is challenged here. Arrow obtained an impossibility theorem only by making unreasonable demands on social choice functions. With reasonable requirements, one can get very attractive possibilities and derive social preferences on the basis of non-comparable individual preferences. This new approach makes it possible to design optimal second-best institutions inspired by principles of fairness, while traditionally the analysis of optimal second-best institutions was thought to require interpersonal comparisons of well-being. In particular, this approach turns out to be especially suitable for the application of recent philosophical theories of justice formulated in terms of fairness, such as equality of resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-43
Number of pages29
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Economics and Econometrics

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