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Consistent Representative Democracy


  • Chambers, Christopher P.


We study axioms which define "representative democracy" in an environment in which agents vote over a finite set of alternatives. We focus on a property that states that whether votes are aggregated directly or indirectly make no difference. We call this property 'representative consistency'. 'Representative consistency' formalizes the idea that a voting rule should be immune to gerrymandering. We characterize the class of rules satisfying 'unanimity, anonymity,' and 'representative consistency'. We call these rules "partial priority rules." A partial priority rule can be interpreted as a rule in which each agent can "veto" certain alternatives. We investigate the implications of imposing other axioms to the list specified above. We also study the partial priority rules in the context of specific economic models.

Suggested Citation

  • Chambers, Christopher P., 2005. "Consistent Representative Democracy," Working Papers 1217, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1217

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1011-1048.
    2. Salvador Barber?Author-Name: Carmen Bevi?Author-Email:, "undated". "Stable Condorcet Rules," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 539.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    3. Fine, Kit, 1972. "Some Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Representative Decision on Two Alternatives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1083-1090, November.
    4. Thomson, William, 1993. "The replacement principle in public good economies with single-peaked preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 31-36.
    5. Semih Koray, 2000. "Self-Selective Social Choice Functions Verify Arrow and Gibbarad- Satterthwaite Theorems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 981-996, July.
    6. Duggan, John & Martinelli, Cesar, 2001. "A Bayesian Model of Voting in Juries," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 259-294, November.
    7. Barbera, Salvador & Bevia, Carmen, 2002. "Self-Selection Consistent Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 263-277, August.
    8. H. Moulin, 1980. "On strategy-proofness and single peakedness," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 437-455, January.
    9. Plott, Charles R, 1973. "Path Independence, Rationality, and Social Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1075-1091, November.
    10. Fishburn, Peter C, 1971. "The Theory of Representative Majority Decision," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(2), pages 273-284, March.
    11. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1984. "Social criteria for evaluating population change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 13-33, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clemens Puppe & Attila Tasnádi, 2015. "Axiomatic districting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(1), pages 31-50, January.
    2. Sebastian Bervoets & Vincent Merlin, 2006. "Stability and Manipulation in Representative Democracies," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 669.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    3. Laurent, Thibault & Le Breton, Michel & Lepelley, Dominique & de Mouzon, Olivier, 2016. "The Theoretical Shapley-Shubik Probability of an Election Inversion in a Toy Symmetric Version of the U.S. Presidential Electoral System," TSE Working Papers 16-671, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jun 2017.
    4. Sebastian Bervoets & Vincent Merlin, 2016. "On avoiding vote swapping," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(3), pages 495-509, March.
    5. Antonio Quesada, 2012. "A short step between democracy and dictatorship," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(2), pages 149-166, February.
    6. Sebastian Bervoets & Vincent Merlin, 2012. "Gerrymander-proof representative democracies," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 41(3), pages 473-488, August.
    7. repec:the:publsh:2653 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0361-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chambers, Christopher P., 2009. "An axiomatic theory of political representation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 375-389, January.
    10. Rafael Treibich & Martin Van der linden, 2017. "Trump trumps Bush," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 17-00014, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    11. Mihir Bhattacharya, 2016. "Multilevel multidimensional consistent aggregators," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(4), pages 839-861, April.

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    social choice; representative systems; majority rule; gerrymandering;

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