Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

On the possibility of rational policy evaluation

  • Published:
Theory and Decision Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Arrow proved the inconsistency of a set of reasonable looking conditions on a social decision rule. These conditions are stated and their rationale explained. It is argued that the blame for the inconsistency must lie with Arrow's Collective Rationality condition. Arrow's abstract problem is generalized and interpreted in terms of individual as well as collective decision-making. His conditions are revised so that (1) cardinal - even interpersonal - utility comparisons are allowed and (2) the Collective Rationality condition - which formulates the traditional conception of rational choice as maximizing choice - is weakened to its bare bones. The revised set of conditions is still inconsistent. Once again the culprit is the Collective Rationality condition, now drastically weakened: even the bare bones of Arrow's conception of rational choice as maximizing choice is untenable. An alternative conception is proposed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schwartz, T. On the possibility of rational policy evaluation. Theor Decis 1, 89–106 (1970). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00132454

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00132454

Keywords

Navigation