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A short step between democracy and dictatorship

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  • Antonio Quesada

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Abstract

The majority rule and the hierarchically dictatorial rule are both characterized when preferences are defined over two alternatives. The majority rule is characterized in terms of seven axioms. The hierarchically dictatorial rule is characterized in terms of six of these seven axioms and the negation of the seventh, so each rule can be seen as obtained from the other by negating just one of the axioms. The pivotal axiom holds that, for societies with at least three members, the frequency with which indifference is the result of the preference aggregation must be smaller than the frequency with which one of the alternatives is declared preferred to the other.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11238-011-9244-9
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 149-166

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Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:72:y:2012:i:2:p:149-166

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100341

Related research

Keywords: Social welfare function; Majority; Unanimity; Dictatorship; Axiomatic characterization; Two alternatives; D71;

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  1. Asan, Goksel & Sanver, M. Remzi, 2002. "Another characterization of the majority rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 409-413, May.
  2. Chambers, Christopher P., 2005. "Consistent Representative Democracy," Working Papers 1217, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Woeginger, Gerhard J., 2005. "More on the majority rule: Profiles, societies, and responsiveness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 7-11, July.
  4. Llamazares, Bonifacio, 2006. "The forgotten decision rules: Majority rules based on difference of votes," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 311-326, May.
  5. Xu, Yongsheng & Zhong, Zhen, 2010. "Single profile of preferences with variable societies: A characterization of simple majority rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 119-121, May.
  6. J. Woeginger, Gerhard, 2003. "A new characterization of the majority rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 89-94, October.
  7. Miroiu, Adrian, 2004. "Characterizing majority rule: from profiles to societies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 359-363, December.
  8. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2007:i:4:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Fishburn, P. C., 1983. "A new characterization of simple majority," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 31-35.
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