Optimal Group Decisions

Young HP (1994). Optimal Group Decisions. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-94-026

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Abstract

Consider a group of individuals who must rank a set of decisions or choices. If the members of the group disagree, how should their opinions be reconciled into a group ordering? Historically we may discern two ways of answering this question. The "relativist" approach, which is the dominant one in the modern social choice literature, holds that differences of opinion arise largely from differences in preferences or values. Hence the objective should be to strike a fair compromise between differences of opinion. The "rationalist" approach, which was an article of faith among the eighteenth-century founders of voting theory, holds that differences of opinion arise from misperceptions about the true merit of different decisions. For them the goal was to find the ordering that is most likely to be "correct" or "true". These two positions are not incompatible. Under suitable conditions, in fact, they yield the same method, which was first proposed in a rudimentary form by Condorcet. We show that it can be characterized by a slight weakening of the independence of irrelevant alternative condition.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Institute Scholars (INS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:04
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 09:41
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/4183

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