The Myth of the Condorcet Winner

15 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2012 Last revised: 21 Sep 2012

See all articles by Paul H. Edelman

Paul H. Edelman

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: August 15, 2012


There is consensus among legal scholars that, when choosing among multiple alternatives, the Condorcet winner, should it exist, is the preferred option. In this essay I will refute that claim, both normatively and positively. In addition, I will suggest that a different approach, based in behavioral economics, might be a more productive way to model the choices that legislatures make among multiple alternatives.

Keywords: public choice, Condorcet winner

JEL Classification: D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Edelman, Paul H., The Myth of the Condorcet Winner (August 15, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

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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