The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Borda, Jean-Charles de (1733–1799)

  • Charles K. Rowley
Reference work entry


The second half of the 18th century in France was one of the outstanding epochs of scientific thought and witnessed significant attempts to carry the methods of rigorous and mathematical thought beyond the physical and into the realms of the human sciences. A brilliant start was made in political science by three French academicians, namely Borda, Condorcet and Laplace, with contributions which now play a central role in the literature of public choice. It is a salutary warning to those who view science as endlessly progressive to note that the contributions of these outstanding academicians were lost for two centuries until they were rediscovered in 1958 by Duncan Black.


Black, D. Borda, J.-C. de Condorcet criterion Condorcet, Marquis de Laplace, Marquis de Mathematical theory of elections Method of marks Public choice Voting 

JEL Classifications

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  1. Black, D. 1958. The theory of committees and elections. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. de Condorcet, Marquis. 1785. Essai sur l’application de l’analyse à la probabilité des décisions rendues à la pluralité des voix. Paris: Imprimerie Royale.Google Scholar
  3. de Laplace, Marquis. 1812. Leçons de mathématique données à I’Ecole Normale en 1885. Journal de l’Ecole Polytechnique.Google Scholar
  4. Lacroix, S.E. 1800. Eloge historique de Jean-Charles Borda. Paris: Imprimerie de R. Jacquin.Google Scholar
  5. Mascart, J. 1919. La vie et les travaux du Chevalier Jean-Charles de Borda (1733–1799): épisodes de la vie scientifique au XVIII siécle. Lyon: Imprimerie A. Rey.Google Scholar
  6. Sudgen, R. 1981. The political economy of public choice: An introduction to welfare economics. Oxford: Martin Robertson.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles K. Rowley
    • 1
  1. 1.