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Condorcet efficiency: A preference for indifference

  • Fabrice Valognes

    ()

    (University of Namur, Department of Economics, B-5000 Namur, Belgium)

  • William V. Gehrlein

    ()

    (University of Delaware, Department of Business Administration, Newark, DE 19716, USA)

The Condorcet winner in an election is the candidate who would be able to defeat all other candidates in a series of pairwise elections. The Condorcet efficiency of a voting procedure is the conditional probability that it will elect the Condorcet winner, given that a Condorcet winner exists. The study considers the Condorcet efficiency of weighted scoring rules (WSR's) on three candidates for large electorates when voter indifference between candidates is allowed. It is shown that increasing the proportion of voters who have partial indifference will increase the probability that a Condorcet winner exists, and will also increase the Condorcet efficiency of all WSR's. The same observation is observed when the proportion of voters with complete preferences on candidates is reduced. Borda Rule is shown to be the WSR with maximum Condorcet efficiency over a broad range of assumptions related to voter preferences. The result of forcing voters to completely rank all candidates, by randomly breaking ties on candidates that are viewed as indifferent, leads to a reduction in the probability that a Condorcet winner exists and to a reduction in the Condorcet efficiency of all WSR's.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 18 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 193-205

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:18:y:2001:i:1:p:193-205
Note: Received: 31 July 1999/Accepted: 11 February 2000
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