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Voting and the Cardinal Aggregation of Judgments

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  • Hillinger, Claude

Abstract

The paper elaborates the idea that voting is an instance of the aggregation of judgments, this being a more general concept than the aggregation of preferences. To aggregate judgments one must first measure them. I show that such aggregation has been unproblematic whenever it has been based on an independent and unrestricted scale. The scales analyzed in voting theory are either context dependent or subject to unreasonable restrictions. This is the real source of the diverse 'paradoxes of voting' that would better be termed 'voting pathologies'. The theory leads me to advocate what I term evaluative voting. It can also be called utilitarian voting as it is based on having voters express their cardinal preferences. The alternative that maximizes the sum wins. This proposal operationalizes, in an election context, the abstract cardinal theories of collective choice due to Fleming and Harsanyi. On pragmatic grounds, I argue for a three valued scale for general elections.

Suggested Citation

  • Hillinger, Claude, 2004. "Voting and the Cardinal Aggregation of Judgments," Discussion Papers in Economics 353, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:353
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/353/1/hillinger_voting.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Antoinette Baujard, 2015. "How voters use grade scales in evaluative voting," Post-Print halshs-01211532, HAL.
    2. Antoinette Baujard & Frédéric Gavrel & Herrade Igersheim & Jean-François Laslier & Isabelle Lebon, 2013. "Who’s Favored by Evaluative Voting ? An Experiment Conducted During the 2012 French Presidential Election," Working Papers of BETA 2013-08, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    3. Rodríguez Alcantud, José Carlos & Laruelle, Annick, 2012. "To appove or not to approve: this is not the only question," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2012-63, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    4. Laruelle, Annick, 2018. "Voting and expressing dissatisfaction: an experiment during the 2017 French Presidential election," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2018-106, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    5. Woeginger, Gerhard J., 2009. "Threshold aggregation of multi-graded rankings," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 58-63, July.
    6. González, Stéphane & Laruelle, Annick & Solal, Philippe, 2017. "Neutral candidates in approval and disapproval vote," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2017-105, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    7. Antoinette Baujard & Herrade Igersheim, 2007. "Expérimentation du vote par note et du vote par approbation lors de l'élection présidentielle française du 22 avril 2007," Post-Print halshs-00337290, HAL.
    8. José Alcantud & Annick Laruelle, 2014. "Dis&approval voting: a characterization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(1), pages 1-10, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    approval voting; cardinal utility; instant runoff voting; plurality voting; voting paradoxes;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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