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Voting and the Cardinal Aggregation of Judgments

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  • Hillinger, Claude

Abstract

The paper elaborates the idea that voting is an instance of the aggregation of judgments, this being a more general concept than the aggregation of preferences. To aggregate judgments one must first measure them. I show that such aggregation has been unproblematic whenever it has been based on an independent and unrestricted scale. The scales analyzed in voting theory are either context dependent or subject to unreasonable restrictions. This is the real source of the diverse 'paradoxes of voting' that would better be termed 'voting pathologies'. The theory leads me to advocate what I term evaluative voting. It can also be called utilitarian voting as it is based on having voters express their cardinal preferences. The alternative that maximizes the sum wins. This proposal operationalizes, in an election context, the abstract cardinal theories of collective choice due to Fleming and Harsanyi. On pragmatic grounds, I argue for a three valued scale for general elections.

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File URL: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/353/1/hillinger_voting.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 353.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:353

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Related research

Keywords: approval voting; cardinal utility; instant runoff voting; plurality voting; voting paradoxes;

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Cited by:
  1. Woeginger, Gerhard J., 2009. "Threshold aggregation of multi-graded rankings," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 58-63, July.
  2. Alcantud, José Carlos R. & Laruelle, Annick, 2012. "To approve or not to approve: this is not the only question," MPRA Paper 41885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Antoinette Baujard & Herrade Igersheim, 2007. "Expérimentation du vote par note et du vote par approbation lors de l'élection présidentielle française du 22 avril 2007," Post-Print halshs-00337290, HAL.
  4. Antoinette Baujard & Frédéric Gavrel & Herrade Igersheim & Jean-François Laslier & Isabelle Lebon, 2013. "Who's Favored by Evaluative Voting? An Experiment Conducted During the 2012 French Presidential Election," Working Papers hal-00803024, HAL.

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