Arrow's theorem

Kenneth J. Arrow
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
Alternate versions available: 1987 Edition
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Abstract

Any satisfactory method of making a social choice should be in some measure representative of the individual criteria which enter into it, should use the range of possible actions, and should observe consistency conditions among the choices made for different data sets. Arrow's Theorem, or the Impossibility Theorem, states that there is no social choice mechanism which satisfies such reasonable conditions and which will be applicable to any arbitrary set of individual criteria. This article sets out the proof of the theorem.
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How to cite this article

Arrow, Kenneth J. "Arrow's theorem." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 21 November 2014 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_A000136> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0061

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