IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

On the probabilities of correct or incorrect majority preference relations


  • Ilia Tsetlin
  • Michel Regenwetter


While majority cycles may pose a threat to democratic decision making, actual decisions based inadvertently upon an incorrect majority preference relation may be far more expensive to society. We study majority rule both in a statistical sampling and a Bayesian inference framework. Based on any given paired comparison probabilities or ranking probabilities in a population (i.e., culture) of reference, we derive upper and lower bounds on the probability of a correct or incorrect majority social welfare relation in a random sample (with replacement). We also present upper and lower bounds on the probabilities of majority preference relations in the population given a sample, using Bayesian updating. These bounds permit to map quite precisely the entire picture of possible majority preference relations as well as their probabilities. We illustrate our results using survey data. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Ilia Tsetlin & Michel Regenwetter, 2003. "On the probabilities of correct or incorrect majority preference relations," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 20(2), pages 283-306, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:20:y:2003:i:2:p:283-306
    DOI: 10.1007/s003550200182

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mostapha Diss & Eric Kamwa, 2019. "Simulations in Models of Preference Aggregation," Working Papers hal-02424936, HAL.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:20:y:2003:i:2:p:283-306. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.