Theory and Decision

, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 511–527 | Cite as

Independence of irrelevant alternatives revisited

  • Susumu CatoEmail author


This paper aims to reexamine the axiom of the independence of irrelevant alternatives in the theory of social choice. A generalized notion of independence is introduced to clarify an informational requirement of binary independence which is usually imposed in the Arrovian framework. We characterize the implication of binary independence.


Arrow’s impossibility theorem Independence of irrelevant alternatives Binary independence Collective choice rule 

JEL Classification




I am grateful to an anonymous referee for his/her constructive comments and suggestions. This paper was financially supported by Grant-in-Aids for Young Scientists (B) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Social SciencesTokyo Metropolitan UniversityTokyoJapan

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