I am a post-graduate economics student in India, currently taking a core course in Choice Theory. Unfortunately, there is no standardized text which we are following for the course. The course structure is attached herewith:

  • Concepts of rationalizability
  • Characterization or Rational Choice Functions
  • Consistency conditions and Arrows axiom and the Generalized Condorcet Axiom
  • Pareto criterion and Pareto inclusive Choice Rules.
  • Compensation tests and the Collective choice functions.
  • Social Decision Functions and Value Judgement.

If anyone has suggestions based on the course structure, I would greatly appreciate your insights. Thank you in advance for your help.


1 Answer 1


The title "Choice Theory" is a bit ambiguous, because it could refer to Social Choice Theory (the theory of collective decisions), but it could also refer to the broader concept of Rational Choice Theory (i.e. normative decision theory, which concerns decisions by individual rational agents). The first two topics that you mention sound like they are more about rational choice theory, whereas the last four topics are more about social choice and social welfare.

Although it is somewhat out of date, the best overall textbook on social choice theory is still:

This book also contains a good discussion of individual rational choice, so it addresses your first two topics as well.

Other good textbook introductions to social choice and social welfare are:

(There are also more specialized books on specific topics in social choice such as bargaining theory, strategic voting and mechanism design, voting paradoxes, fair division, intergenerational justice, judgement aggregation, approval voting, population ethics, etc., but I assume that these are not germane to the present discussion.) Finally, there are a series of very nice "Handbooks", which contain chapter-length surveys of the recent advances in the literature written by experts:

As its name suggests, the The Handbook of Rational and Social Choice also contains several chapters about the broader topic of rational choice. Here are some other good references on rational choice:

To learn more about social choice and social welfare, some other useful resources are:


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