Approval Voting and Arrow's Impossibility Theorem

16 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013

See all articles by Philippe Mongin

Philippe Mongin

GREGHEC; CNRS & HEC Paris - Economics & Decision Sciences

Francois Maniquet

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Date Written: November 17, 2011

Abstract

Approval voting has attracted considerable interest among voting theorists, but they have rarely investigated it in the Arrovian frame-work of social welfare functions (SWF) and never connected it with Arrow's impossibility theorem. This note explores these two directions. Assuming that voters have dichotomous preferences, it first characterizes approval voting in terms of its SWF properties and then shows that these properties are incompatible if the social preference is also taken to be dichotomous. The positive result improves on some existing characterizations of approval voting in the literature, as well as on Arrow's and May's classic analyses of voting on two alternatives. The negative result corresponds to a novel and perhaps surprising version of Arrow's impossibility theorem.

Keywords: Approval Voting, Majority Voting, Collective Preference Function, Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem

JEL Classification: D71

Suggested Citation

Mongin, Philippe and Maniquet, Francois, Approval Voting and Arrow's Impossibility Theorem (November 17, 2011). HEC Paris Research Paper No. 954/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2239118 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2239118

Philippe Mongin (Contact Author)

GREGHEC ( email )

1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas, 78350
France

CNRS & HEC Paris - Economics & Decision Sciences ( email )

Paris
France

Francois Maniquet

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, b-1348
Belgium
+32 10 474328 (Phone)
+32 10 474301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.core.ucl.ac.be/staff/maniquetcore.htm

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