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The Silent Revolution of Probabilistic Voting

Chapter
Part of the International Studies in Economics and Econometrics book series (ISEE, volume 28)

Abstract

The general equilibrium theory is one of the foremost achievements in economics. Under fairly plausible assumptions, it demonstrates the existence, uniqueness and stability of a market equilibrium and its interesting welfare properties (Invisible Hand Theorem). The theory of contestables markets and the Weak Invisible Hand Theorem have recently still extended the previous results. We observe exactly the opposite regarding the equivalent theories in the political and social choice spheres. When it is viewed as a n-person game between rational actors, the political universe appears to be a highly fertile ground for impossibility theorems, instability results, suboptimal situations, etc. Only unlikely restrictions on preferences and/or stringent institutional constraints are able to bring predictable and stable decisions. As these various exclusion conditions are often incompatible with even a modest degree of heterogeneity, they are not significantly less restrictive than the extreme assumption of complete unanimity of individual preferences (Kramer(1973)).

Keywords

Public Choice Social Choice Majority Rule Median Voter Social Welfare Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

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