Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen's first great book, now reissued in a fully
revised and expanded second edition 'Can the values which individual
members of society attach to different alternatives be aggregated into
values for society as a whole, in a way that is both fair and theoretically
sound? Is the majority principle a workable rule for making decisions? How
should income inequality be measured? When and how can we compare the
distribution of welfare in different societies?' These questions, from the
citation by the Swedish Academy of Sciences when Amartya Sen was awarded
the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, refer to his work in Collective
Choice and Social Welfare, the most important of all his early books.
Originally published in 1970, this classic work in welfare economics has
been recognized for its ground-breaking role in integrating economics and
ethics, and for its influence in opening up new areas of research in social
choice, including aggregative assessment. It has also had a large influence
on international organizations, including the United Nations, particularly
in its work on human development. In its original version, the book showed
that the 'impossibility theorems' in social choice theory-led by the
pioneering work of Kenneth Arrow-need not be seen as destructive of the
possibility of reasoned and democratic social choice. Sen's ideas about
social choice, welfare economics, inequality, poverty and human rights have
continued to evolve since the book's first appearance. This expanded
edition, which begins by reproducing the 1970 edition in its entirety, goes
on to present eleven new chapters of new arguments and results. As in the
original version, the new chapters alternate between non-mathematical
chapters completely accessible to all, and those which present mathematical
arguments and proofs. The reader who prefers to shun mathematics can follow
all the non-mathematical chapters on their own, to receive a full, informal
understanding. There is also a substantial new introduction which gives a
superb overview of the whole subject of social choice.

Amartyá Sen—Collective Choice And Social Welfare

  • 9780141982502