By George R. Feiwel
This publication is set the ascent, vicissitudes and lacunae within the technology and artwork of recent economics and approximately Kenneth Arrow, his architectonic contributions to and impression at the theoretical and utilized economics and ethical and political philosophy of our age.
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Extra resources for Arrow and the Foundations of the Theory of Economic Policy
Xlviii Preface The foregoing is much enhanced by Arrow's reflections on those chapters that do not specifically assess his work, presented in Part V as a conclusion to this volume. Arrow and the Foundations of the Theory of Economic Policy The introduction to this volume consists effectively of two chapters: the first (lA) focuses on Arrow's development as an individual and scholar, his values and overriding social and economic concerns and the second (lB) examines his unique creation of the theory of social choice.
It is hoped that Chapter lA complements and sheds further light on Arrow's more technical contributions explored in Arrow and the Ascent of Modern Economic Theory, at least for those readers who believe that biography matters. More specifically, Chapter lA traces Arrow's family background and early socio-political outlook. It takes us through his undergraduate and graduate education and the formative influences of the environment at the Cowles Commission and Rand Corporation. An attempt is then made at brushing in bold strokes the vivid characteristics of the man and scholar, followed by an exposition of his view of the human interaction as tension between personal and social values and their confrontation with limited opportunities.
This provides him, inter alia, a reason to doubt the attractiveness of the familiar axiom of Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives. In Chapter 4 Hammond takes up the challenge of Arrow's social choice paradox, suggesting that it may not be insoluble. His approach involves using cardinalization of both individual and social welfare measures based on behaviour in risk taking situations. He argues that this approach can be justified by analyzing sequential decisions in decision trees. The major part of this chapter proceeds through several logical steps to derive a form of utilitarianism closely akin to Vickrey and, more especially, Harsanyi, while the latter part considers how the contradictory postulates of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem can be modified to accommodate this form of utilitarianism.
Arrow and the Foundations of the Theory of Economic Policy by George R. Feiwel