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Rationality and Relevance in Social Choice Theory

Plott, Charles R. (1971) Rationality and Relevance in Social Choice Theory. Social Science Working Paper, 5. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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The central argument of this paper is that concepts such as "social preference," "social rationality," "public interest," "social benefits" and "social welfare" are unnecessary for the development and application of welfare economics principles and the design and/or modification of political economic processes. The primary reasons for using these constructions as offered by Samuelson and Arrow are misleading if not simply wrong. The features of the concepts which make their use compelling, are also features of other approaches to problems. Furthermore, since the tools themselves automatically restrict analysis to a rather "uninteresting" family of political-economic processes, their use may even be detrimental to the development of a relevant body of theory.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:Presented at TIMS Meeting.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131218-152844304
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43075
Deposited On:24 Mar 2014 23:15
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:04

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