If anyone has a background in welfare economics or decision theory, I’m looking for someone to walk me through Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem. I’m having difficulty wrapping my brain around it even with Wikipedia’s help.

What exactly are you trying to do with it? Any specific questions? If you’re any good with math it might help to look at it from a mathematical viewpoint.

[quote]jnnak wrote:

What exactly are you trying to do with it? Any specific questions? If you’re any good with math it might help to look at it from a mathematical viewpoint. [/quote]

That is largely the problem–I don’t think I have the necessary mathematical background to make much sense of the formulae and such.

Not trying to do anything with it, just understand the theorem and it’s implications.

Have you looked at the Condorcet Paradox?

[quote]Fiction wrote:

jnnak wrote:

What exactly are you trying to do with it? Any specific questions? If you’re any good with math it might help to look at it from a mathematical viewpoint.

That is largely the problem–I don’t think I have the necessary mathematical background to make much sense of the formulae and such.

Not trying to do anything with it, just understand the theorem and it’s implications.[/quote]

I have met Prof Arrow, and even in the context of the seminar, he did not explain the “Impossibility” theorem. He thought it rather obvious.

I offer my crude thought: “You can’t please most of the people most of the time.”

(See also Pareto optimality, American pluralism, etc.)