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Approval voting and Arrow’s impossibility theorem

Author

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  • François Maniquet
  • Philippe Mongin

Abstract

Approval voting has attracted considerable attention in voting theory, but it has rarely been investigated in an Arrovian framework of collective preference (”social welfare”) functions and never been connected with Arrow’s impossibility theorem. The article explores these two directions. Assuming that voters have dichotomous preferences, it first characterizes approval voting in terms of its collective preference properties and then shows that these properties become incompatible if the collective preference is also taken to be dichotomous. As approval voting and majority voting happen to share the same collective preference function on the dichotomous domain, the positive result also bears on majority voting, and is seen to extend May’s and Inada’s early findings on this rule. The negative result is a novel and perhaps surprising version of Arrow’s impossibility theorem, because the axiomatic inconsistency here stems from the collective preference range, not the individual preference domain. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • François Maniquet & Philippe Mongin, 2015. "Approval voting and Arrow’s impossibility theorem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(3), pages 519-532, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:44:y:2015:i:3:p:519-532
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-014-0847-2
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    2. Erdamar, Bora & Sanver, M. Remzi & Sato, Shin, 2017. "Evaluationwise strategy-proofness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 227-238.
    3. Matías Núñez & Giacomo Valletta, 2015. "The informational basis of scoring rules," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 19(4), pages 279-297, December.
    4. Federica Ceron & Stéphane Gonzalez, 2019. "A characterization of Approval Voting without the approval balloting assumption," Working Papers halshs-02440615, HAL.
    5. Pierre Dehez & Victor Ginsburgh, 2020. "Approval voting and Shapley ranking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 184(3), pages 415-428, September.
    6. Alcalde-Unzu, Jorge & Vorsatz, Marc, 2014. "Non-anonymous ballot aggregation: An axiomatic generalization of Approval Voting," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 69-78.
    7. Florian Brandl & Felix Brandt, 2020. "Arrovian Aggregation of Convex Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 799-844, March.
    8. Conal Duddy & Ashley Piggins & William Zwicker, 2016. "Aggregation of binary evaluations: a Borda-like approach," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(2), pages 301-333, February.
    9. Guy Barokas & Yves Sprumont, 2022. "The broken Borda rule and other refinements of approval ranking," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 58(1), pages 187-199, January.
    10. Sato, Norihisa, 2019. "Approval voting and fixed electorate with dichotomous preferences," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 51-60.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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