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Instability of Collective Decisions? Testing for Cyclical Majorities

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  • Stratmann, Thomas

Abstract

The issues of cyclical majorities and instability of collective choices have been in the forefront in the discussion of social choice mechanisms. Cycling, lack of equilibria, and so called chaos theorems have been prevalent in the public choice literature. Whether cycling actually occurs in processes that are decided by majority rule has been a long-standing question. However, cycling has not been made quantifiable nor has it been clear how one would determine empirically whether majorities are cyclical. In this paper, cycling has been given an empirical meaning. This paper provides a method to test for cyclical majorities and applies it to decisions made in the US Congress. The test results indicate stability and the presence of persistent winners and losers in Congress. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 88 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (July)
Pages: 15-28

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:88:y:1996:i:1-2:p:15-28

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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Cited by:
  1. Moser, Peter, 1999. "The impact of legislative institutions on public policy: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
  2. Congleton, Roger D. & Tollison, Robert D., 1999. "The stability inducing propensities of very unstable coalitions: avoiding the downward spiral of majoritarian rent-seeking," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 193-205, June.
  3. Wu, Jay Y., 2008. "A General Behavior Model and New Definitions of Organizational Cultures," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2535-2545, December.
  4. Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.

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