On the justice of voting systems
AbstractWhat are the best voting systems in terms of utilitarianism? Or in terms of maximin, or maximax? We study these questions for the case of three alternatives and a class of structurally equivalent voting rules. We show that plurality, arguably the most widely used voting system, performs very poorly in terms of remarkable ideals of justice, such as utilitarianism or maximin, and yet is optimal in terms of maximax. Utilitarianism is best approached by a voting system converging to the Borda count, while the best way to achieve maximin is by means of a voting system converging to negative voting. We study the robustness of our results across different social cultures, measures of performance, and population sizes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 987.
Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Voting; Scoring Rules; Utilitarianism; Maximin; Maximax; Impartial Culture Condition;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-03-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2007-03-10 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2007-03-10 (Positive Political Economics)
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