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A Unifying Impossibility Theorem
Economic Theory (2013)
  • Priscilla Man, University of Queensland
  • Shino Takayama, University of Queensland
TThis paper identifies and illuminates a common impossibility principle underlying a number of impossibility theorems in social choice. We consider social choice correspondences assigning a choice set to each non-empty subset of social alternatives. Three simple axioms are imposed: unanimity, independence of preferences over infeasible alternatives and choice consistency with respect to choices out of all possible alternatives. With more than three social alternatives and the universal preference domain, any social choice correspondence that satisfies our axioms is serially dictatorial. A number of known impossibility theorems --- including Arrow's Impossibility Theorem, the Muller-Satterthwaite Theorem and the impossibility theorem under strategic candidacy --- follow as corollaries.
  • impossibility theorem,
  • independence of infeasible alternatives,
  • independence of losing alternatives,
  • social choice
Publication Date
Citation Information
Priscilla Man and Shino Takayama. "A Unifying Impossibility Theorem" Economic Theory Vol. 54 (2013) p. 249 - 271
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