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Selecting A Social Choice Rule: An Exploratory Panel Study


  • Murat R. Sertel
  • Ayca E.G. Kara


This study is an attempt to empirically understand public preferences concerning social choice rules. We focus on four social choice rules (SCRs): Plurality, Plurality with a Run-off, the Majoritarian Compromise (MC) and Borda's SCR. We confront our subjects with hypothetical preference profiles of a hypothetical electorate over some abstract set of alternatives at which the four SCRs all disagree and we ask each subject which alternative should be chosen and which should be eliminated for the society whose preference profile is shown. The study was conducted with 288 subjects who were confronted with five preference profiles each. We found a very clear support for the MC and Borda's SCR, the subjects generally not favoring Plurality or Plurality with a Run-off. We noticed, however, that many of the subjects who chose the alternative which would be chosen by Borda's SCR were actually choosing it because it coincided with the Social Compromise winner. As a result, the net outcome of our study is the finding that our subjects strongly favor the MC, then a conglomerate of Borda's SCR and the SC, strongly disfavoring Plurality and even more so, Plurality with a Run-off.

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  • Murat R. Sertel & Ayca E.G. Kara, 2000. "Selecting A Social Choice Rule: An Exploratory Panel Study," Working Papers 2029, Economic Research Forum, revised 10 May 2000.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:2029

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bilge Yilmaz & Murat R. Sertel, 1999. "The majoritarian compromise is majoritarian-optimal and subgame-perfect implementable," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(4), pages 615-627.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brañas Garza, Pablo & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Giritligil, Ayca E., 2013. "Democratic Values Transmission," DFAEII Working Papers DFAEII;2013-02, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.

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