Second Annual Arrow Lecture
December 12, 2009 · 6:30 – 8:00PM
Columbia University, Altschul Auditorium, School of International and Public Affairs
- Eric Maskin, Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
- Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University
- Kenneth Arrow, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Stanford University
- Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University
Nobel Prize-winnings economists revisit Kenneth Arrow’s groundbreaking work on voting habits and outcomes.
Kenneth Arrow’s path-breaking “impossibility theorem” was a watershed in the history of welfare economics, voting theory, and collective choice, demonstrating that there is no voting rule that satisfies the four desirable axioms of decisiveness, consensus, non-dictatorship, and independence. In this lecture, Amartya Sen and Eric Maskin explore the implications of Arrow’s theorem. Sen considers its ongoing utility, exploring the theorem’s value and limitations in relation to recent research on social reasoning, while Maskin discusses how to design a voting rule that gets us closer to the ideal—given that achieving the ideal is impossible. Kenneth J. Arrow and Joseph Stiglitz serve as discussants.