Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Social Choice Theory

  • Salvador BarberàEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_666-1


Aggregation Rules

These are methods that combine information about the preferences of agents in society and turn them into binary relations, interpreted as “collective preferences,” that may or may not inherit the properties of those attributed to individuals.

Arrow’s Impossibility theorem

This pioneering result expresses the logical impossibility of aggregating individual transitive preferences into social transitive preferences, when a society faces more than two alternatives, while respecting the Arrowian conditions of Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives, Non-Dictatorship, Universal Domain, and Pareto.

Chaos theorems

Cyclical patterns in social preferences arise in many cases, under a wide variety of aggregation rules. In multidimensional settings, where social alternatives can be identified with vectors of characteristics, chaos theorems prove that such cyclical patterns can emerge, even if individual preferences are restricted to be saturated and concave, in almost...


Aggregation rules Voting methods Social choice functions Impossibility theorems Arrow’s impossibility theorem Chaos theorems Characterizations Strategy-proofness Single peakedness Liberalism 
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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOVE, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Barcelona GSEBarcelonaSpain