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Top monotonicity: A common root for single peakedness, single crossing and the median voter result


  • Salvador Barberà
  • Bernardo Moreno


When the members of a voting body exhibit single peaked preferences, majority winners exist. Moreover, the median(s) of the preferred alternatives of voters is (are) indeed the majority (Condorcet) winner(s). This important result of Duncan Black has been crucial in the development of public economics and political economy. However, it only provides a sufficient condition, and there are many examples in the literature of environments where voting equilibria exist even if single peakedness does not hold. Some of them correspond to instances where other relevant conditions, not necessarily connected with single

Suggested Citation

  • Salvador Barberà & Bernardo Moreno, 2010. "Top monotonicity: A common root for single peakedness, single crossing and the median voter result," Working Papers 297, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:297

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-330, March.
    2. Saporiti, Alejandro, 2009. "Strategy-proofness and single-crossing," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(2), June.
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    9. David Cantala, 2004. "Choosing the level of a public good when agents have an outside option," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 22(3), pages 491-514, June.
    10. H. Moulin, 1980. "On strategy-proofness and single peakedness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 437-455, January.
    11. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
    12. Miguel Ballester & Guillaume Haeringer, 2011. "A characterization of the single-peaked domain," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(2), pages 305-322, February.
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    15. Stiglitz, J. E., 1974. "The demand for education in public and private school systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 349-385, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe De Donder & Francisco Martinez-Mora, 2015. "On the Political Economy of University Admission Standards," Discussion Papers in Economics 15/11, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    2. Mridu Goswami, 2015. "Non fixed-price trading rules in single-crossing classical exchange economies," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(2), pages 389-422, February.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-1476, June.
    4. Martínez-Mora Francisco & Puy M. Socorro, 2012. "Asymmetric Single-peaked Preferences," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, December.
    5. repec:spr:etbull:v:3:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s40505-014-0060-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gabrielle Demange, 2012. "Majority relation and median representative ordering," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 95-109, March.
    7. Fan-Chin Kung, 2015. "Sorting out single-crossing preferences on networks," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(3), pages 663-672, March.
    8. Fasil Alemante & Donald E. Campbell & Jerry S. Kelly, 2016. "Characterizing the resolute part of monotonic social choice correspondences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(4), pages 765-783, October.
    9. repec:spr:sochwe:v:48:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1033-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Robert Bredereck & Jiehua Chen & Gerhard Woeginger, 2013. "A characterization of the single-crossing domain," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(4), pages 989-998, October.
    11. Mridu Prabal Goswami, 2013. "Non Fixed-Price Trading Rules In Single-Crossing Classical Exchange Economies," Working Papers 1311, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    12. König, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias & Wagener, Andreas, 2016. "Image concerns and the political economy of publicly provided private goods," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-214, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    13. repec:spr:sochwe:v:50:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1092-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Islam, Jamal & Mohajan, Haradhan & Moolio, Pahlaj, 2010. "Median voter model cannot solve all the problems of voting system," MPRA Paper 50696, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Feb 2011.

    More about this item


    Single peaked; single crossing and intermediate preferences; majority (Condorcet) winners;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations


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