Social Choice Theory


  • Elizabeth Maggie Penn, Emory University

This workshop provides a thorough introduction to the field of social choice theory. Social choice theory provides an elegant way of analyzing how groups of people should and do make collective decisions. It takes a collection of people with well-defined and heterogeneous preferences as an input and then examines the different ways in which we can construct a group preference from these inputs. The construction is achieved through the use of a preference aggregation rule which could be equivalent to a voting rule or something else entirely. The goal of the workshop is to examine the properties of different types of rules, and to characterize rules that yield desirable group outcomes.

The elegance and power of many social choice-theoretic results such as Arrow's impossibility theorem, the McKelvey-Schofield chaos theorems, the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem, and the Plott conditions have changed the way that we think about decision making procedures and outcomes. Its influence extends across disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences with applications in political science, economics, sociology, information science, environmental management, and health sciences.

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for this workshop, but prior experience with a proof-based math course will be helpful. Participants should be open to learning and utilizing mathematical notation and proof techniques.

Fees: Consult the fee structure.

Tags: Social Choice Theory, formal models

Course Sections

Section 1

Location: ICPSR -- Ann Arbor, MI

Date(s): July 22 - August 16

Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


  • Elizabeth Maggie Penn, Emory University