Conflicting interests, decomposability, and comparative statics

Mark Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


When optimizing an aggregate of several individual objective functions, it may be possible to decompose the set of individual objectives into groups across which there are no conflicting interests. It is shown that changes in an individual objective will affect those individuals, and only those individuals, whose objective is in potential conflict with the changed objective. Thus, in particular, each individual can affect every other individual if and only if the optimization problem is indecomposable - i.e. if and only if it is impossible to separate the individuals into groups across which there are no conflicting interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-79
Number of pages23
JournalMathematical Social Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Decomposability
  • aggregate optimization
  • comparative statics
  • sensitivity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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