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Necessary and sufficient conditions for a resolution of the social choice paradox

Chichilnisky, Graciela and Heal, Geoffrey (1979): Necessary and sufficient conditions for a resolution of the social choice paradox. Published in: Journal of Economic Theory , Vol. 31, No. No. 1 (October 1983): pp. 68-87.

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Abstract

We present a restriction on the domain of individual preferences that is both necessary and sufficient for the existence of a social choice rule that is continuous, anonymous, and respects unanimity. The restriction is that the space of preferences be contractible. Contractibility admits a straightforward intuitive explanation, and is a generalisation of conditions such as single peakedness, value restrictedness and limited agreement, which were earlier shown to be sufficient for majority voting to be an acceptable rule. The only restriction on the number of individuals, is that it be finite and at least 2.

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