The launching of ‘social choice and welfare’ and the creation of the ‘society for social choice and welfare’
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I wish to ask the readers to forgive me for what could appear as a partial scientific autobiography. May I convince them that all I have written is not the result of a paranoid behaviour.
In 1966, I was a fourth year undergraduate economics student at the University of Caen (this was the level corresponding at that time to a ‘licence’, in the economics curriculum in the French university system). At this level, a traditional course in this French university system (and probably nowhere else; French generally believe that they are right against all others, but, in this case, I can tell you that they were wrong!) was entitled ‘Systèmes et structures’ (I suppose you do not need any translation).1Alain Cotta, a rather well known French economist (he was well known and I mean he is still well known; for instance, he is often invited to participate in TV talk shows) was responsible for this course in Caen. Rather than really teaching, he had decided to ask his students to give talks...
KeywordsPublic Choice Social Choice Welfare Economic Collective Choice Social Choice Theory
This paper is partially based on a note I wrote in 1989. I was then asked not to circulate this note, which I did. I am very grateful to two persons who played a major rôle in my life. My wife, Annie-Claude, has been constantly supportive, even though the described ventures had many implications for our family life, including the choice of the locations of our vacations. All I did, I would not have done without Prasanta Pattanaik. It is only because he accepted to share responsibilities with me that all these things happened. I am also very grateful for his comments on this paper.
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