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Without time, no morality


  • Thomas Cool


Theory shows that voting is subject to paradoxes, while it also appears that a voting result is as much caused by the used procedure as by the voters’ preferences. From a moral point of view, the choice of the procedure naturally is the major issue. A key insight is that morality presumes time. In a static world everything is given, and there is no place for individuals who have to ponder their moral choices. The real world is dynamic however, and the most challenging voting paradoxes concern budget changes. The paper develops a new "Borda Fixed Point" mechanism that provides a better protection to surprises by such budget changes. The analysis is put into context with a review of the proper meaning of Kenneth Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem and a review of Donald Saari’s argument on symmetry. (This version has a formal appendix.)

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Cool, 2002. "Without time, no morality," General Economics and Teaching 0202003, EconWPA, revised 17 Feb 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0202003
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    Cited by:

    1. Colignatus, Thomas, 2017. "The performance of four possible rules for selecting the Prime Minister after the Dutch Parliamentary elections of March 2017," MPRA Paper 77616, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Mar 2017.
    2. Colignatus, Thomas, 2010. "The performance of four possible rules for selecting the Prime Minister after the Dutch Parliamentary elections of June 2010," MPRA Paper 23240, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 May 2010.
    3. Colignatus, Thomas, 2013. "The performance of four possible rules for selecting the Prime Minister after the Dutch Parliamentary elections of September 2012," MPRA Paper 44158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Feb 2013.

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    JEL classification:

    • A00 - General Economics and Teaching - - General - - - General

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