The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Acyclicity

  • Douglas Blair
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_193

Abstract

Acyclicity is a consistency property of preferences and other binary relations. It requires that the asymmetric part P of the relation (e.g. the subrelation of strict preference) contain no cycles; that is, for no sequence of alternatives x1, x2, …, xn is it true that x1Px2, x2Px3,…,xn−1Pxn, and xnPx1. The study of cyclic preferences dates at least to Condorcet’s (1785) treatment of the paradox of voting, in which transitive individual voters generate cyclic majority preferences.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Blair
    • 1
  1. 1.