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A Social Choice Trade-off Between Alternative Fairness Concepts: Solidarity versus Flexibility

In this paper, we define simple measures of two properties that social choice functions may embody in different degrees in public goods environments. First, a measure of solidarity is proposed such that Thomson's (1990) replacement monotonicity property is a particular case in which the full amount of solidarity is required. Secondly, we introduce a measure of the degree of flexibility of a social choice function and prove that a trade-off in Campbell and Kelly's (1993) sense exists between both properties. More solidarity can only be achieved in exchange of less flexibility of the decision rule. When we restrict ourselves to the family of voting schemes called generalized Condorcet winner solutions, introduced by Moulin (1980), we find the exact trade-off and we can easily find the degrees of fulfillment of both properties, which amount to some generalization of the idea of ''qualified majority''.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2003/10.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2003_10
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  1. William Thomson, 1997. "The replacement principle in economies with indivisible goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 57-66.
  2. Thomson, W., 1991. "Population-Monotonic Solutions to the Problem of Fair Division when Preferences are Single-Peaked," RCER Working Papers 302, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Moulin, Herve, 1987. "The Pure Compensation Problem: Egalitarianism versus Laissez-Fairism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 769-83, November.
  4. Ching, S. & Thomson, W., 1993. "Population-Monotonic Solutions in Public Good Economies with Single- Peaked Preferences," RCER Working Papers 362, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Moulin, Herve, 1994. "Social choice," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1091-1125 Elsevier.
  6. Thomson, William, 1993. "The replacement principle in public good economies with single-peaked preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 31-36.
  7. Thomson, W., 1991. "Resource-Monotonic Solutions to the Problem of Fair Divosion when Preferences are Single-Peaked ," RCER Working Papers 301, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Thomson, William, 1997. "The Replacement Principle in Economies with Single-Peaked Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 145-168, September.
  9. Salvador Barbera & Matthew Jackson, 1991. "A Characterization of Strategy-Proof Social Choice Functions for Economies with Pure Public Goods," Discussion Papers 964, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. William Thomson, 1999. "Welfare-domination under preference-replacement: A survey and open questions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 373-394.
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