Collective Choice and Social Welfare: An Expanded Edition

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9780674971608: Collective Choice and Social Welfare: An Expanded Edition
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Can the values which individual members of society attach to different alternatives be aggregated into values for society as a whole, in a way that is both fair and theoretically sound? Is the majority principle a workable rule for making decisions? How should income inequality be measured? When and how can we compare the distribution of welfare in different societies? So reads the 1998 Nobel citation by the Swedish Academy, acknowledging Amartya Sen s important contributions in welfare economics and particularly his work in "Collective Choice and Social Welfare."

Originally published in 1970, this classic study has been recognized for its groundbreaking role in integrating economics and ethics, and for its influence in opening up new areas of research in social choice, including aggregative assessment. It has also had a large influence on international organizations, including the United Nations, notably in its work on human development. The book showed that the impossibility theorems in social choice theory led by the pioneering work of Kenneth Arrow do not negate the possibility of reasoned and democratic social choice.

Sen s ideas about social choice, welfare economics, inequality, poverty, and human rights have continued to evolve since the book s first appearance. This expanded edition preserves the text of the original while presenting eleven new chapters of fresh arguments and results. Both the new and original chapters alternate between nonmathematical treatments of Sen s subjects, accessible to all, and mathematical arguments and proofs. A new introduction gives a far-reaching, up-to-date overview of the subject of social choice."

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Review:

Expanding on the early work of Condorcet, Pareto, Arrow, and others, Sen provides rigorous mathematical argumentation on the merits of voting mechanisms...For those with graduate training, it will serve as a frequently consulted reference and a necessity on one's book shelf.--J. F. O'Connell"Choice" (10/01/2017)

Trying to find a sober and rational voice amidst all of the nationalistic-inward-breast-beating-hysteria is getting increasingly more difficult. Thankfully, though, the Indian economist, Amartya Sen, is someone who has been providing a voice of reason--to think about how to build a fairer and more just society--for decades.--J. P. O'Malley"Irish Examiner" (04/22/2017)

There are many books that qualify as good, but it is a rare book that can be described as transformative. Straddling economics, philosophy, and logic, Amartya Sen's Collective Choice and Social Welfare is widely recognized as a transformative and seminal work that shaped modern welfare economics...The publication of this classic after so many years, in an enlarged edition, is an occasion for celebration.--Kaushik Basu"Indian Express" (02/25/2017)

About the Author:

Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, is Lamont University Professor at Harvard University.

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