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Individual Powers and Social Consent: An Axiomatic Approach

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  • Biung-Ghi Ju

    (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas)

Abstract

We formalize a notion of conditionally decisive powers of which the exercise depends on social consent. Decisive powers, or the so-called libertarian rights, are examples and much weaker forms of powers are covered by our notion. Main results provide an axiomatic characterization for existence of a system of powers and its uniqueness as well as characterizations of various families of rules represented by systems of powers. In particular, we show that a rule satisfies monotonicity, independence, and symmetric linkage (person i and i¡¯s issues should be treated symmetrically to person j and j¡¯s issues for at least one linkage between issues and persons) if and only if there is a system of powers representing the rule and that the system is unique up to a natural equivalence relation. Considering a domain of simple preference relations (trichotomous or dichotomous preferences), we show that a rule satisfies Pareto efficiency, independence, and symmetry (the symmetric treatment condition in a model with an exogenous linkage between issues and persons) if and only if it is represented by a ¡°quasi-plurality system of powers¡±. For the exercise of a power under a quasi-plurality system, at least either a majority (or (n + 1)/2) consent or a 50% (or (n ? 1)/2) consent is needed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Kansas, Department of Economics in its series WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS with number 200508.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision: Mar 2005
Handle: RePEc:kan:wpaper:200508

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Keywords: Powers; Consent; Libertarian Rights; Monotonicity; Independence; Symmetric linkage; Symmetry; Pareto efficiency; Plurality;

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References

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  1. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Wulf Gaerther & Prasanta K. Pattanaik & Kotaro Suzumura, 1991. "Individual Rights Revisited," Discussion Paper Series a238, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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  3. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-57, Jan.-Feb..
  4. Gibbard, Allan, 1974. "A Pareto-consistent libertarian claim," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 388-410, April.
  5. David Schmeidler, 2000. "Between LIberalism and Democracy," Working Papers 00-08, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Salvador Barbera & Hugo Sonnenschein & Lin Zhou, 1990. "Voting by Committees," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 941, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Miller, Alan D., 2008. "Group identification," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 188-202, May.
  8. Biung-Ghi Ju, 2003. "A characterization of strategy-proof voting rules for separable weak orderings," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 469-499, December.
  9. Rubinstein, Ariel & Fishburn, Peter C., 1986. "Algebraic aggregation theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 63-77, February.
  10. Biung-Ghi Ju, 2005. "An efficiency characterization of plurality social choice on simple preference domains," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 115-128, 07.
  11. Blau, Julian H, 1975. "Liberal Values and Independence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 395-401, July.
  12. Deb, Rajat & Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Razzolini, Laura, 1997. "Game Forms, Rights, and the Efficiency of Social Outcomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 74-95, January.
  13. Barbera, S. & Sonnenschein, H., 1988. "Voting By Quota And Committee," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 95-88, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  14. A. Rubinstein & A. Kasher, 1998. "On the Question "Who is a J?": A Social Choice Approach," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s5, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  15. William Thomson, 2001. "On the axiomatic method and its recent applications to game theory and resource allocation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 327-386.
  16. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Liberty, Unanimity and Rights," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(171), pages 217-45, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Murat Çengelci & M. Sanver, 2010. "Simple Collective Identity Functions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(4), pages 417-443, April.
  2. Miller, Alan D., 2008. "Group identification," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 188-202, May.
  3. Miller, Alan D., 2013. "Community standards," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2696-2705.

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