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An Empirical Example of the Condorcet Paradox of Voting in a Large Electorate

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  • Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard

Abstract

Social choice theory suggests that the occurrence of cyclical collective preferences should be a widespread phenomenon, especially in large groups of decision-makers. However, empirical research has so far failed to produce evidence of the existence of many real-world examples of such, and none in large electorates. This paper demonstrates the existence of a real cyclical majority in a poll of Danish voters' preferred prime minister, using pair-wise comparisons. This result is compared with those of a similar poll, but by using different voting methods, each resulting in different choices. The example demonstrates the empirical reality of cyclical collective preferences and the importance of the choice of institutions. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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  • Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2001. "An Empirical Example of the Condorcet Paradox of Voting in a Large Electorate," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 135-145, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:107:y:2001:i:1:p:135-145
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1010304729545
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    2. Gordon Tullock, 1981. "Why so much stability," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 189-204, January.
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    7. DeMeyer, Frank & Plott, Charles R, 1970. "The Probability of a Cyclical Majority," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 345-354, March.
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    9. Gehrlein, William V. & Fishburn, Peter C., 1976. "The probability of the paradox of voting: A computable solution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 14-25, August.
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    1. Empirical social choice - special issue of "Public Choice"
      by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard in Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard on 2014-02-17 15:15:00

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    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15122 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2016. "Trump, Condorcet and Borda: Voting paradoxes in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries," MPRA Paper 75598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:ejw:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:3:p:400-431 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mohajan, Haradhan, 2011. "Majority judgment in an election with Borda majority count," MPRA Paper 50846, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Sep 2011.
    5. Michel Balinski & Rida Laraki, 2015. "Majority Measures," Working Papers hal-01137173, HAL.
    6. Richard Potthoff, 2013. "Simple manipulation-resistant voting systems designed to elect Condorcet candidates and suitable for large-scale public elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(1), pages 101-122, January.
    7. Luigi Mittone, 2003. "The Condorcet paradox: an experimental approach to a voting process," CEEL Working Papers 0306, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    8. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2014. "Picking a loser? A social choice perspective on the Danish government formation of 1975," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 483-497, March.
    9. Johannes Pollak, 2004. "Democracy and the European Constitution: Majority Voting and Small Member States," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0019, University of Hamburg, Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science.
    10. William Gehrlein, 2002. "Condorcet's paradox and the likelihood of its occurrence: different perspectives on balanced preferences ," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 171-199, March.
    11. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2012. "Modeling constitutional choice: reflections on The Calculus of Consent 50 years on," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 152(3), pages 407-413, September.
    12. Malthe Munkøe, 2014. "Cycles and instability in politics. Evidence from the 2009 Danish municipal elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 383-397, March.
    13. Adrian Deemen, 2014. "On the empirical relevance of Condorcet’s paradox," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 311-330, March.
    14. Daniel Bochsler, 2010. "The Marquis de Condorcet goes to Bern," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 119-131, July.
    15. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2011. "Election inversions, coalitions and proportional representation: Examples from Danish elections," MPRA Paper 35302, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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