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Assessing Borda's Rule and Its Modifications


  • Hannu Nurmi

    () (Department of Political Science, University of Turku)


The Borda Count (BC) is a positional voting procedure fairly often applied in nonpolitical choice settings. It has a usual mixture of good and bad theoretical properties. It is monotonic and consistent and excludes the election of an eventual Condorcet loser. It, however, does not necessarily choose the Condorcet winner when one exists. Its strategic properties have also been found unattractive. Some modifications to it have therefore been proposed, notably Nanson's method. We also compare the BC with two of its recent modifications, the modified Borda Count (MBC) and the quota Borda system (QBS). It turns out that, although similar in spirit to BC, MBC and QBS do not share one of the former's main justifications: the exclusion of an eventual Condorcet loser. It is also shown that QBS tends to lead to more majoritarian outcomes than BC.

Suggested Citation

  • Hannu Nurmi, 2007. "Assessing Borda's Rule and Its Modifications," Discussion Papers 15, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tkk:dpaper:dp15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:96:y:2002:i:04:p:745-754_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Donald Saari, 2006. "Which is better: the Condorcet or Borda winner?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 26(1), pages 107-129, January.
    3. Steven J. Brams & William S. Zwicker & D. Marc Kilgour, 1998. "The paradox of multiple elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(2), pages 211-236.
    4. Young, H. P., 1974. "An axiomatization of Borda's rule," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-52, September.
    5. Gardenfors, Peter, 1976. "Manipulation of social choice functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 217-228, October.
    6. Moulin, Herve, 1988. "Condorcet's principle implies the no show paradox," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 53-64, June.
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    More about this item


    Borda Count; NansonÕs method; Condorcet winner; Condorcet loser; monotonicity; consistency;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations


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