Chapter

Democratic Choice

S. N. Afriat

in Logic of Choice and Economic Theory

Published in print November 1987 | ISBN: 9780198284611
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595844 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198284616.003.0004
 Democratic Choice

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The chapter discusses group choice. It is seen that, with group choice determined as a function of individual choices, democratically required neutralities inevitably lead to the ordinary voting method. An appraisal of the so‐called voting paradox follows. The remainder of the chapter concerns the group preference theory originated by K. J. Arrow; in addition to an account of principles involved and certain theorems, there is criticism of the ‘welfare’ association of this theory, and some consideration of what it could legitimately be about in the first place. The nine sections of the chapter are: axiomatics of voting—group autonomy, individual anonymity, anonymity of alternatives, the voting principle, unanimity sovereignty, election principle, majority rule; binary elections; the voting paradox; electing an order; democratic impartiality; (Arrow's) irrelevance principle; Hansson's group indifference theorem (which is that impartiality, unanimity, and irrelevance principles imply total group indifference, whereas Afriat concludes that impartiality, unanimity and positive association principles are together impossible); positive association; and Arrow's group dictatorship theorem.

Keywords: Arrow's impossibility theorem; choice; demand; democratic choice; optimum; positive association; revealed preference; voting

Chapter.  11646 words. 

Subjects: Microeconomics

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