Economics Professor Prasanta Pattanaik to be Next President of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare

By Stephanie Wejbe, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing
February 20, 2004

Economics Professor Prasanta Pattanaik will be the 2006-2007 President of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare. Currently, he resides as the ‘President-Elect,’ until his formal inauguration. The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, formally established 15 years ago, is an international association that seeks to advance research in welfare economics and the theory of social choice.

According to Pattanaik, the theory of welfare economics and social choice is concerned with the criteria for judging what promotes a society’s welfare and how the society should choose from among alternative options that may be available. The subject, which is at the intersection of economics, political science, and philosophy, and which uses mathematical tools for its analysis, had its origin in the writings of the 18th Century French mathematicians, J.-C. De Borda and M. de Condorcet, and the 19th Century British philosopher, J.S. Mill. The research in this area has progressed enormously in approximately the last fifty years, thanks to the path-breaking contributions by numerous scholars including the Nobel laureates, Paul Samuelson, J. Hicks, K. J. Arrow, J. Harsanyi, and A. K. Sen.

Professor Pattanaik has been at UCR since 1991. His current research interests lie mainly in the areas of welfare economics and the theory of social choice, decision theory (including the theory of choice under uncertainty and the theory of fuzzy preferences), and the measurement of deprivation and the standard of living. He is also interested in development economics and the methodology of economics.

As President for 2006-2007, Professor Pattanaik will model his term after the excellent leadership provided by all the earlier Presidents, Professor Maurice Salles, who has been the Secretary of the Society from its inception, and the members of the Society’s executive committee.

Pattanaik states, “My election as the President of the Society of Social Choice and Welfare is yet another instance of the kindness and generosity that I have received over the years from numerous colleagues. It provides me enormous encouragement to strive to make intellectual contributions to the theory of welfare economics and social choice, which has been one of my main research interests over the last 35 years.”

The Society has acquired a solid reputation as an academic body. It publishes a journal, Social Choice and Welfare, which is known for its high intellectual standards. “As the President for 2006-2007, I shall try my best to maintain this fine tradition, which has been already firmly established,” Pattanaik commented.

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