Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Wickedness in social choice

Gaertner, Wulf (2017) Wickedness in social choice. Journal of Economic Surveys, 31 (2). pp. 369-392. ISSN 0950-0804

PDF (Wickedness in social choice.pdf) - Accepted Version
Download (468kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1111/joes.12143


In an article from 1973, Rittel and Webber distinguished between “tame” or “benign” problems on the one hand and “wicked” problems on the other. The authors argued that wicked problems occur in nearly all public policy issues. Since different groups adhere to different value-sets, solutions can only be expressed as better or worse. By no means can they be viewed as definitive or objective. In this paper we shall consider, from this very angle, the theory of social choice which is about the aggregation of individual preferences with the aim to derive a consistent social preference. We shall show that collective choice offers wicked problems of various types which differ in their degree of severity. We shall hereby concentrate on welfare functions and voting schemes of different kinds and shall discuss these in the light of various criteria such as Arrow’s independence condition, Condorcet consistency, monotonicity, manipulability, and other properties.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 16:13
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics