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Democratically Elected Aristocracies

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  • David Heyd

    (Hebrew University)

  • Uzi Segal

    () (Boston College)

Abstract

The article suggests a formal model of a two-tier voting procedure, which unlike traditional voting systems does not presuppose that ev- ery vote counts the same. In deciding a particular issue voters are called in the first round to assign categories of their fellow-citizens with differential voting power (or weights) according to the special position or concern individuals are perceived as having with regard to that issue. In the second stage, voters vote on the issue itself accord- ing to their substantive view and their votes are counted in the light of the differential weights assigned in the first round. We analyze the formal and the philosophical reasons that support the model.

Suggested Citation

  • David Heyd & Uzi Segal, 2002. "Democratically Elected Aristocracies," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 529, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:529
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amrita Dhillon & Jean-Francois Mertens, 1999. "Relative Utilitarianism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 471-498, May.
    2. Samet, Dov & Schmeidler, David, 2003. "Between liberalism and democracy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 213-233, June.
    3. Edi Karni, 1998. "Impartiality: Definition and Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1405-1416, November.
    4. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Uzi Segal, 2000. "Let's Agree That All Dictatorships Are Equally Bad," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 569-589, June.
    6. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434-434.
    7. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    8. Edi Karni & Zvi Safra, 2002. "Individual Sense of Justice: A Utility Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 263-284, January.
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