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Binary Relations in Mathematical Economics: On the Continuity, Additivity and Monotonicity Postulates in Eilenberg, Villegas and DeGroot

M. Khan () and Metin Uyanık

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Abstract: This chapter examines how positivity and order play out in two important questions in mathematical economics, and in so doing, subjects the postulates of continuity, additivity and monotonicity to closer scrutiny. Two sets of results are offered: the first departs from Eilenberg's (1941) necessary and sufficient conditions on the topology under which an anti-symmetric, complete, transitive and continuous binary relation exists on a topologically connected space; and the second, from DeGroot's (1970) result concerning an additivity postulate that ensures a complete binary relation on a {\sigma}-algebra to be transitive. These results are framed in the registers of order, topology, algebra and measure-theory; and also beyond mathematics in economics: the exploitation of Villegas' notion of monotonic continuity by Arrow-Chichilnisky in the context of Savage's theorem in decision theory, and the extension of Diamond's impossibility result in social choice theory by Basu-Mitra. As such, this chapter has a synthetic and expository motivation, and can be read as a plea for inter-disciplinary conversations, connections and collaboration.

Date: 2020-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe and nep-mic
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Published in Positivity and its Applications, 2021

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