, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 105-115

Arrow's Theorem with a fixed feasible alternative

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Arrow's Theorem, in its social choice function formulation, assumes that all nonempty finite subsets of the universal set of alternatives is potentially a feasible set. We demonstrate that the axioms in Arrow's Theorem, with weak Pareto strengthened to strong Pareto, are consistent if it is assumed that there is a prespecified alternative which is in every feasible set. We further show that if the collection of feasible sets consists of all subsets of alternatives containing a prespecified list of alternatives and if there are at least three additional alternatives not on this list, replacing nondictatorship by anonymity results in an impossibility theorem.

Most of the research for this article was completed while we were participants in the Public Choice Institute held at Dalhousie University during the summer of 1984. We wish to record here our thanks to the Institute Director, E.F. McClennen, and its sponsors, the Council for Philosophical Studies, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We are grateful to our referees for their comments and the Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science at Northwestern University, where Weymark was a visitor during 1985–86, for secretarial assistance.