Social Choice and Individual Values

Kenneth J. ARROW

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“WHILE ECONOMICS CAN EXPLAIN INDIVIDUAL CHOICE, IT CANNOT EXPLAIN GROUP DECISION MAKING”: NOBEL-WINNER KENNETH ARROW’S FIRST BOOK, INSCRIBED BY HIM

ARROW, Kenneth J. Social Choice and Individual Values. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1951. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition of the first book by the 1972 Nobel Prize-winner in economics and “one of the half-dozen most important economists in the late 20th century,” inscribed by him: “With best wishes, Kenneth J. Arrow, 25 February 2006.”

Kenneth Arrow’s first book was his doctoral dissertation at Columbia, and published as the 12th book in the Cowles Commission Monograph series. He outlines what came to be known as “the impossibility theorem,” the notion “that social choice, or social decision making, is not rational… What this all means is that while economics can explain individual choice, it cannot explain group decision making” (Pressman, 178-9). “Arrow’s ‘impossibility theorem’ appeared to have such startling consequences for both political philosophy and welfare economics that literally hundreds of papers have been written to refute it. But Arrow’s theorem has withstood all technical criticisms and has never been decisively challenged on its own grounds” (Great Economists Since Keynes, 6).

Book with only faint foxing and light rubbing to extremities. Price-clipped dust jacket with wear to extremities and small faded spot on spine. A near-fine inscribed copy.

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