Rationality and Operators

The Formal Structure of Preferences

  • Susumu Cato

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Economics book series (BRIEFSECONOMICS)

Also part of the Development Bank of Japan Research Series book sub series (BRIEFSDBJRS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Susumu Cato
    Pages 1-10
  3. Susumu Cato
    Pages 11-34
  4. Susumu Cato
    Pages 35-68
  5. Susumu Cato
    Pages 89-109
  6. Susumu Cato
    Pages 111-119
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 121-124

About this book


This unique book develops an operational approach to preference and rationality as the author employs operators over binary relations to capture the concept of rationality.

A preference is a basis of individual behavior and social judgment and is mathematically regarded as a binary relation on the set of alternatives. Traditionally, an individual/social preference is assumed to satisfy completeness and transitivity. However, each of the two conditions is often considered to be too demanding; and then, weaker rationality conditions are introduced by researchers. This book argues that the preference rationality conditions can be captured mathematically by “operators,” which are mappings from the set of operators to itself. This operational approach nests traditional concepts in individual/social decision theory and clarifies the underlying formal structure of preference rationality.

The author also applies his approach to welfare economics. The core problem of ‘new welfare economics,’ developed by Kaldor, Hicks, and Samuelson, is the rationality of social preference. In this book the author translates the social criteria proposed by those three economists into operational forms, which provide new insights into welfare economics extending beyond ‘new welfare economics.’


Preference Operator Rationality Preference Rationality Welfare Axiomatic analysis

Authors and affiliations

  • Susumu Cato
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of TokyoInstitute of Social Science, The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Development Bank of Japan 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance
  • Print ISBN 978-981-10-1895-4
  • Online ISBN 978-981-10-1896-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2191-5504
  • Series Online ISSN 2191-5512
  • Buy this book on publisher's site