Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kenneth Arrow version of uncertainty applied to voting

Steven Durlauf at Vox CEPR:
Condorcet’s remarkable insight leads to the question of whether alternative voting schemes can avoid such outcomes. Arrow’s even more remarkable (1951a) analysis, which was his doctoral dissertation, asked whether there can be any procedure that respects the preferences of all and at the same time always produces coherent decisions? The impossibility theorem proved that the answer is no. Any procedure, no matter how clever, runs the risk of producing cycles in voting or other bizarre outcomes. In other words, it may not be the case that there is always a coherent voice of the people. 

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