• Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Article
      • The basic notation
      • The Bergson–Samuelson social welfare function
      • Arrow's social welfare function
      • Arrow's impossibility theorem
      • Alternative intuitive interpretations
      • The informational basis of social welfare judgements
    • See Also
    • Bibliography
    • How to cite this article

social welfare function

Prasanta K. Pattanaik
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Abstract

The article deals with the related, though distinct, notions of a social welfare function due to A. Bergson and P. Samuelson on the one hand and K.J. Arrow on the other. After introducing the two formal concepts, it gives a brief outline of Arrow's well-known impossibility theorem, considers some alternative intuitive interpretations of the notion of a social welfare function, and discusses the informational bases of social welfare judgements.
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Keywords

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Article

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How to cite this article

Pattanaik, Prasanta K. "social welfare function." 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. 23 April 2014 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_S000172> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.1567

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