Equitable Voting Rules

29 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2018

See all articles by Laurent Bartholdi

Laurent Bartholdi

Institute of Advanced Studies, Lyon

Wade Hann-Caruthers

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Maya Josyula

California Institute of Technology

Omer Tamuz

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Leeat Yariv

Princeton University

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Date Written: November 3, 2018

Abstract

A celebrated result in social choice is May's Theorem (May, 1952), providing the foundation for majority rule. May's crucial assumption of symmetry, often thought of as a procedural equity requirement, is violated by many choice procedures that grant voters identical roles. We show that a modification of May's symmetry assumption allows for a far richer set of rules that still treat voters equally, but have minimal winning coalitions comprising a vanishing fraction of the population. We conclude that procedural fairness can coexist with the empowerment of a small minority of individuals. Methodologically, we introduce techniques from discrete mathematics and illustrate their usefulness for the analysis of social choice questions.

Keywords: Voting Rules, May's Theorem, Equity, Social Choice, Finite Groups

JEL Classification: C60, D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Bartholdi, Laurent and Hann-Caruthers, Wade and Josyula, Maya and Tamuz, Omer and Yariv, Leeat, Equitable Voting Rules (November 3, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3277806 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3277806

Laurent Bartholdi

Institute of Advanced Studies, Lyon ( email )

Wade Hann-Caruthers

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

Maya Josyula

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

Omer Tamuz

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

Leeat Yariv (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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