The Institutional Dimension of Election Design

10 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2011 Last revised: 30 Apr 2011

See all articles by Paul H. Edelman

Paul H. Edelman

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: November 16, 2010


The traditional approach to election design focuses solely on the best method to aggregate the preferences of the voters. But elections are run by institutions, and the interests of the institution may not be reflected in the preferences of the voter. In this comment I discuss how institutional considerations come into play in election design in three areas: political representation, corporate voting, and judging in competitions. As an illustration of this institutional approach I appraise the method by which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selects the nominees and winners of the Oscars.

Keywords: elections, voting, Oscars, social choice, representation

JEL Classification: D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Edelman, Paul H., The Institutional Dimension of Election Design (November 16, 2010). Public Choice, April 2011; Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 11-18; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-23. Available at SSRN:

Paul H. Edelman (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-322-0990 (Phone)
615-322-6631 (Fax)

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