The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Collective Rationality

Reference work entry


This article reviews the concepts of individual rationality and collective rationality as they appear in the economics literature. In particular, the existing literature on social choice and aggregate demand points to a fundamental disconnect between these two notions of rationality. A possible reconciliation of this disconnect is suggested.


Aggregate demand Arrow’s impossibility theorem Collective choice Collective rationality Debreu–Mantel–Sonnenschein theorem Gibbard–Satterthwaite impossibility theorem Individual rationality Prisoner’s dilemma Rational choice Sen, A. Social choice Social welfare function Strategic behaviour 

JEL Classifications

D02 D71 D72 D81 D82 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lu Hong
    • 1
  1. 1.