A Fortiori Analysis – Definition

Cite this article as:"A Fortiori Analysis – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated June 12, 2019, last accessed October 27, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/a-fortiori-analysis-definition/.


A Fortiori Analysis Definition

A Fortiori analysis is an analysis done to deliberately favor other sets of solutions when compared to that which has already been declared to be the best. It helps one to extensively compare the benefits and limitations of other existing alternative solutions to be able to identify the one which is much better.

If after the assessment, the already declared solution is still viewed as the best alternative choice, then its position is strengthened further. Comparing the alternatives against the original solution makes it easier for one to make a more informed decision. The other term for Fortiori analysis is decision theory.

“A Fortiori” is a Latin word meaning “more conclusively.” Based on this, we can, therefore, say that a fortiori analysis is an analysis that helps an individual to further evaluate or assess other alternatives, against the currently most preferred one before making a decision.

A Little More on What is A Fortiori Analysis

A fortiori analysis is used in decision making. In business, this theory is used by individuals to make decisions regarding certain business ventures. However, to be able to get favorable results using this analysis, the items being compared should have common factual features. It is more practical to compare things with common elements as it is likely to give you more reliable or factual results.

Example of A Fortiori

An investor could be having problems in making a decision regarding business ventures due to risks involved. In this case, he or she will apply the fortiori analysis to be able to come up with an informed decision about the existing alternatives.

In this case, an investor will have to first choose a set that he regards to be efficient from the available alternatives. From the set, he or she can then choose a business venture that is more profitable or less risky. The investor will do this by assessing the pros and cons of the existing alternative business ventures. He will then drop those that seem to be riskier until he remains with that which seem favorable or worth investing in.

Argumentum fortiori

Argumentum fortiori is used to prove an argument. For instance, if one thing is believed to be true, then it is also true that several others are too.

Example of argumentum fortiori

When someone is dead, then he can be said with certainty that he has stopped breathing because when someone dies, he or she stops breathing. Being dead, therefore, conquers any other argument that the person is no longer alive. The factual argument in this example is that, a dead person cannot breathe and is, therefore, dead.

Here there are common factual features which are death, stopping to bring and not being alive. This is true to the fortorio analysis where the elements being compared have to have some common features to be able to come up with a conclusive decision.

Uses of Fortiori Analysis

  • It helps one to efficiently make choices where risks are involved. Using this analysis one will have a chance to assess the pros and cons of all the available alternatives. He or she can then go ahead to single out and eliminate the riskier ones until he is able to come up with one that he believes to be worth..


  • It can also be used in the legal field to prove an argument. For instance, in legal writing, it can be used to prove by stating in writing that the issue at hand, had already been expressed from an even stronger position.


It is true that fortiori analysis is essential when you want to make an important decision or even when you want to prove an argument. However, it can also give you an unfavorable outcome, especially when you don’t take note of the rule(s) that relate to this analysis.

Therefore, important to consider the rules when applying the fortorio analysis. For instance, remember to make sure that whatever is being compared or argued on must have common features from which to draw a comparison or place an argument. If not, you will end up not getting the desired results.

References for A Fortiori Analysis

Academic Research for A Fortiori Analysis

The efficiency analysis of choices involving risk, Hanoch, G., & Levy, H. (1975). In Stochastic Optimization Models in Finance (pp. 89-100).

Introduction to” Housing Markets and Racial Discrimination: A Microeconomic Analysis”, Kain, J. F., & Quigley, J. M. (1975). In Housing markets and racial discrimination: A microeconomic analysis (pp. 1-8). NBER.

Information systems in small business: are they used in managerial decisions?, Raymond, L., & Magnenat-Thalmann, N. (1982). American Journal of Small Business, 6(4), 20-26.

Growth, acquisition activity and firm size: evidence from the United Kingdom, Kumar, M. S. (1985). The Journal of Industrial Economics, 327-338.

Is there a European business cycle?, Artis, M., & Siebert, H. (2004). Macroeconomic policies in the world economy, 329, 53.

PIMS and BCG: New horizons or false dawn?, Wensley, R. (1982). Strategic Management Journal, 3(2), 147-158.

The reconfiguration of mobile service provision: towards platform business models, Ballon, P., Walravens, N., Spedalieri, A., & Venezia, C. (2008).

The misuse of accounting rates of return: Comment, Long, W. F., & Ravenscraft, D. J. (1984). The American Economic Review, 74(3), 494-500.

Variety in the knowledge base of Knowledge Intensive Business Services, Consoli, D., & Elche-Hortelano, D. (2010). Research Policy, 39(10), 1303-1310.

Utility analysis and the consumption function: An interpretation of cross-section data, Modigliani, F., & Brumberg, R. (1954). Franco Modigliani, 1, 388-436.

Competing agendas in public procurement: an empirical analysis of opportunities and limits in the UK for SMEs, Pickernell, D., Kay, A., Packham, G., & Miller, C. (2011). Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 29(4), 641-658.

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