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Exclusion of self evaluations in peer ratings: An impossibility and some proposals


  • Yew-Kwang Ng
  • Guang-Zhen Sun
  • Guang-Zhen Sun


In the popularly used ranking method of peer rating, the exclusion of the evaluations/marks given to oneselves is intuitively appealing and has been actually practiced, since a person/university/country typically is biased in favor of itself. This short paper shows that this apparently reasonable principle of self-exclusion may give unacceptable rankings. In particular, it may rank B over A despite the fact that everyone including B ranks A over B. An impossibility theorem (in two versions) is proved, showing that, if the self-awarded marks are excluded, no method of ranking can satisfy some compelling conditions like monotonicity, neutrality, and weak unanimity. Some proposals to overcome the difficulty are discussed. While no ideal proposal has been discovered, some may be practically acceptable in most cases. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Yew-Kwang Ng & Guang-Zhen Sun & Guang-Zhen Sun, 2003. "Exclusion of self evaluations in peer ratings: An impossibility and some proposals," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 20(3), pages 443-456, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:20:y:2003:i:3:p:443-456
    DOI: 10.1007/s003550200191

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    Cited by:

    1. Shinji Ohseto, 2012. "Exclusion of self evaluations in peer ratings: monotonicity versus unanimity on finitely restricted domains," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(1), pages 109-119, January.
    2. Amorós, Pablo, 2016. "Subgame perfect implementation of the deserving winner of a competition with natural mechanisms," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 44-57.
    3. Shohei Tamura & Shinji Ohseto, 2014. "Impartial nomination correspondences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(1), pages 47-54, June.
    4. Ohseto, Shinji, 2007. "A characterization of the Borda rule in peer ratings," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 147-151, September.
    5. Mackenzie, Andrew, 2015. "Symmetry and impartial lotteries," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 15-28.

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