Collective Preference and Choice

Collective Preference and Choice

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Shmuel Nitzan
Cambridge University Press, 12/10/2009
EAN 9780521897259, ISBN10: 0521897254

Hardcover, 20000 pages, 23.4 x 15.4 x 1.7 cm
Language: English

Collective decision-making is a familiar feature of our social, political, and economic lives. It ranges from the relatively trivial (e.g. the choice of the next family car) to the globally significant (e.g. whether or not a country should go to war). Yet, whether trivial or globally significant, such decisions involve a number of challenging problems. These problems arise in the standard social choice setting, where individuals differ in their preferences. They also arise in the standard decision-making setting, where individuals share the same preferences, but differ in their decisional capabilities. The distinctive feature of Collective Preference and Choice is that it looks at classical aggregation problems that arise in three closely related areas: social choice theory, voting theory, and group decision-making under uncertainty. Using a series of exercises and examples, the book explains these problems with reference to a number of important contributions to the study of collective decision-making.

List of figures
List of tables
Part I. Introduction
1. The reason for the problems
2. Brief overview of the problems
3. The relationship between preferences and choice
Part II. Different Preferences
4. Do social preferences exist? Arrow's and Sen's impossibility theorems
5. The desirable collective decision rule
6. Rule selection based on the compromise with the unanimity criterion
7. Paradoxes of voting
8. Majority tyranny and expression of preference intensity
9. The problem of inefficient provision of public goods
10. Do individuals reveal their true preferences?
Part III. Identical Preferences – Different Decisional Skills
11. Which rule is better
the expert rule or the simple majority rule? Decisional errors in dichotomous choice and Condorcet's jury theorem
12. The optimal decision rule under uncertain dichotomous choice

'This is a first rate book, covering basic social choice theory (Arrow, Sen, Condorcet, Borda, etc.), as well as group choice when individuals seek the same objective but disagree on how to bring it about - an area in which Shmuel Nitzan himself has made seminal contributions. The material is well presented. This lucid treatment is ideal for newcomers to the field, but it will also be a valuable resource for graduate students. For every page of text there is half a page of exercises with solutions.' Donald Campbell, College of William and Mary