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A liberal paradox for judgment aggregation

Author

Listed:
  • Franz Dietrich

    (University of Konstanz)

  • Christian List

    (Dept. of Government, London School of Economics)

Abstract

In the emerging literature on judgment (as opposed to preference) aggregation, expert rights or liberal rights have not been investigated yet. When a group forms collective beliefs, it may assign experts with special knowledge on certain propositions the right to determine the collective judgment on those propositions; and, when a group forms collective goals or desires, it may assign individuals specially affected by certain propositions similar rights on those propositions. We identify a problem similar to, but more general than, Sen's `liberal paradox': Under plausible conditions, the assignment of such rights to two or more individuals (or subgroups) is inconsistent with the unanimity principle, whereby propositions accepted by all individuals must be collectively accepted. So a group respecting expert or liberal rights on certain propositions must sometimes overrule its unanimous judgments on others. The inconsistency does not arise if either different individuals' rights are `disconnected' or individuals are `agnostic/tolerant' or `deferring/empathetic' towards other individuals' rights. Our findings have implications for the design of mechanisms by which groups (societies, committees, expert panels, organizations) can reach decisions on systems of interconnected propositions.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2004. "A liberal paradox for judgment aggregation," Public Economics 0405003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0405003 Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 20
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/pe/papers/0405/0405003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. List, Christian & Pettit, Philip, 2002. "Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 89-110, April.
    2. Deb, Rajat & Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Razzolini, Laura, 1997. "Game Forms, Rights, and the Efficiency of Social Outcomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 74-95, January.
    3. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2005. "Arrow's Theorem in Judgement Aggregation," Public Economics 0504007, EconWPA, revised 10 Sep 2005.
    4. Dietrich, Franz, 2015. "Aggregation theory and the relevance of some issues to others," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 463-493.
    5. Franz Dietrich, 2007. "A generalised model of judgment aggregation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(4), pages 529-565, June.
    6. Julian H. Blau, 1975. "Liberal Values and Independence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(3), pages 395-401.
    7. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2007. "Arrow’s theorem in judgment aggregation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 29(1), pages 19-33, July.
    8. Rubinstein, Ariel & Fishburn, Peter C., 1986. "Algebraic aggregation theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 63-77, February.
    9. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    10. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-157, Jan.-Feb..
    11. Wilson, Robert, 1975. "On the theory of aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 89-99, February.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:02:p:281-293_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Dietrich, Franz, 2007. "Aggregation and the relevance of some issues for others," Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    14. Dietrich, Franz, 2006. "Judgment aggregation: (im)possibility theorems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 286-298, January.
    15. Klaus Nehring & Clemens Puppe, 2008. "Consistent judgement aggregation: the truth-functional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(1), pages 41-57, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. List, Christian & Polak, Ben, 2010. "Introduction to judgment aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 441-466.
    2. Herzberg, Frederik, 2016. "Respect for experts or respect for unanimity? The liberal paradox in probabilistic opinion pooling," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 513, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    3. Piggins, Ashley & Salerno, Gillian, 2016. "Sen cycles and externalities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 25-27.
    4. Philippe Mongin, 2012. "The doctrinal paradox, the discursive dilemma, and logical aggregation theory," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 315-355.
    5. Herzberg, Frederik, 2017. "Respect for experts vs. respect for unanimity: The liberal paradox in probabilistic opinion pooling," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 44-47.
    6. Philippe Mongin, 2012. "The doctrinal paradox, the discursive dilemma, and logical aggregation theory," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 315-355.
    7. Franz Dietrich, 2007. "A generalised model of judgment aggregation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(4), pages 529-565, June.
    8. List, Christian, 2010. "The theory of judgment aggregation: an introductory review," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27596, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Jérôme Lang & Gabriella Pigozzi & Marija Slavkovik & Leendert Torre & Srdjan Vesic, 2017. "A partial taxonomy of judgment aggregation rules and their properties," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(2), pages 327-356, February.
    10. Richard Bradley, 2007. "Reaching a consensus," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 29(4), pages 609-632, December.
    11. Masaki Miyashita, 2017. "Binary Collective Choice with Multiple Premises," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-27, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    12. Klaus Nehring, 2005. "The (Im)Possibility of a Paretian Rational," Economics Working Papers 0068, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    liberal paradox; liberal right; expert right; subgroup rights; unanimity principle; judgment aggregation; empathy; deferral; tolerance; agnosticism;

    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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