Fifteen years after the Global Financial Crisis: Recessions and Business Cycles in the History of Economic Thought

Revisiting the Role of Value Judgments in Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem

Lovera Nestor, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne

This paper provides an analysis of the role of value judgments in the elaboration and interpretation of Arrow’s impossibility theorem, that played an important role in the progress of normative economics. We first consider the “value-relevance” of Arrow’s impossibility theorem. In other words, we identify the evaluative judgments that Arrow makes regarding the methods and approaches he chooses to employ in order to obtain his impossibility theorem. Then we analyze Arrow’s impossibility theorem under the prism of Mongin's work (1999; 2002; 2006). We consider three reasons why Mongin’s contributions shed light on Arrow’s position vis-à-vis the role of value judgments in his impossibility theorem. This allows us to analyze the value judgments that Arrow makes himself, to analyze not only each one of the conditions of his theorem but also when relaxing one of the conditions to solve the impossibility result.

Area: Young Scholar Seminar

Keywords: Value Judgments; Arrow

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