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Existence of a Condorcet winner when voters have other-regarding preferences

  • Sanjit Dhami


  • Ali al-Nowaihi


In standard political economy models, voters are ‘self-interested’ i.e. care only about ‘own’ utility. However, the emerging evidence indicates that voters often have ‘other-regarding preferences’ (ORP), i.e., in deciding among alternative policies voters care about their payoffs relative to others. We extend a widely used general equilibrium framework in political economy to allow for voters with ORP, as in Fehr- Schmidt (1999). In line with the evidence, these preferences allow voters to exhibit ‘envy’ and ‘altruism’, in addition to the standard concern for ‘own utility’. We give sufficient conditions for the existence of a Condorcet winner when voters have ORP. This could open the way for an incorporation of ORP in a variety of political economy models. Furthermore, as a corollary, we give more general conditions for the existence of a Condorcet winner when voters have purely selfish preferences.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 07/16.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision: Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:07/16
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  1. Tyran, Jean-Robert & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2006. "A little fairness may induce a lot of redistribution in democracy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 469-485, February.
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