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65th Anniversary of Ken Arrow's "Social Choice and Individual Values"

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Cubberley Auditorium

Doors open at 3:30pm for Reserved Ticket-holders ONLY. General seating will begin at 3:50pm.

Sixty five years ago, in Social Choice and Individual Values (which was based on his PhD thesis) Ken Arrow issued a signal challenge to those interested in amalgamating individual preferences into social choices. He demonstrated that any form of voting that meets a set of reasonable constraints is self-contradictory and fails to yield a stable outcome. This work transformed entire disciplines such as social choice theory and welfare economics and has given rise to a long and fruitful literature probing the implications of its finding. Political philosophers, economists and others have found in Arrow’s results a range of disturbing implications for democratic theory. Arrow was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1972.This colloquium marks the anniversary of the publication of this work and brings two expert panelists to comment on Arrow’s findings.  Nobel laureate and Harvard Professor Amartya Sen, and NYU Law Professor John Ferejohn will offer remarks on the significance of Arrow’s findings.  After their comments, Arrow will join them for a discussion, moderated by Prof. Debra Satz which will be followed by questions from the audience.Please join us in celebrating this work by a founding member of the Ethics in Society Program.Ken Arrow is the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research, emeritus; a CHP/PCOR fellow; and an FSI senior fellow by courtesy. He is a Nobel Prize-winning economist whose work has been primarily in economic theory and operations, focusing on areas including social choice theory, risk bearing, medical economics, general equilibrium analysis, inventory theory, and the economics of information and innovation. His current research includes Information and communication in the economy, environment and growth, networks and markets.
Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University and was until 2004 the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.  He is also Senior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.  Earlier on he was Professor of Economics at Jadavpur University Calcutta, the Delhi School of Economics, and the London School of Economics, and Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University.
John Ferejohn is the Samuel Tilden Professor of Law at New York University.  His primary areas of scholarly interest are political theory and the study of political institutions and behavior. His current research focuses on the American Congress, judicial institutions, law and legislation, constitutional adjudication in the United States and Europe and the developing world, separation of powers, political campaigns and elections, and the philosophy of social science.  Before joining the NYU faculty, he had been a professor of Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology (1972-1983), a professor of political science at Stanford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution (1983-2009).

Event Sponsor: 
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society
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