Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science

No 2008/10: Voces Populi and the Art of Listening

Eivind Stensholt ()
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Eivind Stensholt: Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Finance and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: The strategy most damaging to many preferential election methods is to give insincerely low rank to the main opponent of one’s favorite candidate. Theorem 1 determines the 3-candidate Condorcet method that minimizes the number of noncyclic profiles allowing this strategy. Theorems 2, 3, and 4 establish conditions for an anonymous and neutral 3-candidate single-seat election to be monotonic and still avoid this strategy completely. Plurality elections combine these properties; among the others "conditional IRV" gives the strongest challenge to the plurality winner. Conditional IRV is extended to any number of candidates. Theorem 5 is an impossibility of Gibbard-Satterthwaite type, describing 3 specific strategies that cannot all be avoided in meaningful anonymous and neutral elections.

Keywords: Preferential Election methods; Plurality Election methods

JEL-codes: D72

40 pages, June 12, 2008

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