Social Choice and Welfare

, 37:559

First online:

Free triples, large indifference classes and the majority rule

  • Salvador BarberàAffiliated withMOVE, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
  • , Lars EhlersAffiliated withDépartement de Sciences Économiques and CIREQ, Université de Montréal Email author 

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We study classes of voting situations where agents may exhibit a systematic inability to distinguish between the elements of certain sets of alternatives. These sets of alternatives may differ from voter to voter, thus resulting in personalized families of preferences. We study the properties of the majority relation when defined on restricted domains that are the cartesian product of preference families, each one reflecting the corresponding agent’s objective indifferences, and otherwise allowing for all possible (strict) preference relations among alternatives. We present necessary and sufficient conditions on the preference domains of this type, guaranteeing that majority rule is quasi-transitive and thus the existence of Condorcet winners at any profile in the domain, and for any finite subset of alternatives. Finally, we compare our proposed restrictions with others in the literature, to conclude that they are independent of any previously discussed domain restriction.