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Equitable Voting Rules

Author

Listed:
  • Bartholdi, Laurent
  • Hann-Caruthers, Wade
  • Josyula, Maya
  • Tamuz, Omer
  • Yariv, Leeat

Abstract

A celebrated result in social choice is May's Theorem (May, 1952), providing the foundation for majority rule. May's crucial assumption of symmetry, often thought of as a procedural equity requirement, is violated by many choice procedures that grant voters identical roles. We show that a modification of May's symmetry assumption allows for a far richer set of rules that still treat voters equally, but have minimal winning coalitions comprising a vanishing fraction of the population. We conclude that procedural fairness can coexist with the empowerment of a small minority of individuals. Methodologically, we introduce techniques from discrete mathematics and illustrate their usefulness for the analysis of social choice questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bartholdi, Laurent & Hann-Caruthers, Wade & Josyula, Maya & Tamuz, Omer & Yariv, Leeat, 2018. "Equitable Voting Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 13316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13316
    as

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    Other versions of this item:

    • Laurent Bartholdi & Wade Hann-Caruthers & Maya Josyula & Omer Tamuz & Leeat Yariv, 2018. "Equitable voting rules," Papers 1811.01227, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2020.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Estelle Cantillon & Antonio Rangel, 2002. "A graphical analysis of some basic results in social choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 19(3), pages 587-611.
    2. Packel, Edward W., 1980. "Transitive permutation groups and equipotent voting rules," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 93-100, September.
    3. Mark Fey, 2004. "May’s Theorem with an infinite population," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 23(2), pages 275-293, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    equity; Finite Groups; May's Theorem; Social Choice; Voting rules;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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