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Aggregation And Social Choice: A Mean Voter Theorem

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Author Info

  • CAPLIN, A.
  • NALEBUFF, B.

Abstract

A celebrated result of Black (1984a) demonstrates the existence of a simple majority winner when preferences are single-peaked. The social choice follows the preferences of the median voter's most preferred outcome beats any alternative. However, this conclusion does not extend to elections in which candidates differ in more than one dimension. This paper provides a multi-dimensional analog of the median voter result. We show that the mean voter's most preferred outcome is unbeatable according to a 64%-majority rule. The weaker conditions supporting this result represent a significant generalization of Caplin and Nalebuff (1988). The proof of our mean voter result uses a mathematical aggregation theorem due to Prekopa (1971, 1973) and Borell (1975). This theorem has broad applications in economics. An application to the distribution of income is described at the end of this paper; results on imperfect competition are presented in the companion paper [CFDP 937].

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 1989_31.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 1989
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:1989_31

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Related research

Keywords: social choice ; voting ; economic theory;

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References

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  1. Caplin, A. & Nalebuff, B., 1989. "Aggregation And Imperfect Competition: On The Existence Of Equilibrium," Discussion Papers, Columbia University, Department of Economics 1989_30, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
  3. Greenberg, Joseph, 1979. "Consistent Majority Rules over Compact Sets of Alternatives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 627-36, May.
  4. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
  5. Kramer, Gerald H, 1973. "On a Class of Equilibrium Conditions for Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 41(2), pages 285-97, March.
  6. Gupta, Somesh Das, 1980. "Brunn-Minkowski inequality and its aftermath," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 296-318, September.
  7. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  8. Jewitt, Ian, 1987. "Risk Aversion and the Choice between Risky Prospects: The Preservation of Comparative Statics Results," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 73-85, January.
  9. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1979. "A Note about the "Nowhere Denseness" of Societies Having an Equilibrium under Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 511-14, March.
  10. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
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