Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arrow's Impossibility Theorem - an Entertaining Exegesis

ALex Tabarrok posts on the mythical group choice Andy; one example:
Andy walks into an ice-cream shop and seeing that they have chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, orders chocolate. Before the vendor has a chance to scoop the ice cream she says, "Sorry, we are out of strawberry." "In that case," Andy says, "I'll have vanilla." Strange right? Yet however strange we might think this behavior is for Andy it is routine when groups make choices (just substitute Bush, Nader, and Gore for chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.) (Failure of IIA.)
I had never thought of thinking about it this way, which makes it a lot more fun!


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