Which voting rule is most likely to choose the “best” candidate?
- 259 Downloads
One criterion for evaluating voting rules is the frequency with which they select the best candidate. Using a spatial model of voting that is capable of simulating data with the same statistical structure as data from actual elections, we simulate elections for which we can define the best candidate. We use these simulated data to investigate the frequencies with which 14 voting rules chose this candidate as their winner. We find that the Black rule tends to perform better than the other rules, especially in elections with few voters. The Bucklin rule, the plurality rule, and the anti-plurality rule tend to perform worse than the other 11 rules, especially in elections with many voters.
KeywordsSpatial model Multinomial-Dirichlet distribution Black rule
JEL ClassificationC4 D72
We express our gratitude to Christian Henning, who commented on our paper at the 2012 meetings of the Public Choice Society, and to an anonymous referee, who read our manuscript twice with unusual care and made several suggestions that helped us improve the paper.
- Condorcet, M. J. A. N. Marquis de (1785). Essai sur l’application de l’analyse à la probabilité des décisions rendues à la pluralité des voix. Paris. Google Scholar
- Conitzer, V., & Sandholm, T. (2005). Common voting rules as maximum likelihood estimators. In Proceedings of the 21st annual conference on uncertainty in artificial intelligence (UAI-05) (pp. 145–152). Google Scholar
- de Borda, J. (1784). Mémoire sur les elections au scrutin. Reprinted in: A. de Grazia (1953). Mathematical derivation of an election system. Isis, 44, 42–51. Google Scholar
- Laslier, J. F. (2012). And the loser is … plurality voting. In D. S. Felsenthal & M. Machover (Eds.), Electoral systems: paradoxes, assumptions, and procedures. New York: Springer. Google Scholar
- Plassmann, F., & Tideman, T. N. (2011). How to assess the frequency of voting paradoxes and strategic voting opportunities in actual elections. Mimeo. Google Scholar
- Tideman, T. N. (2006). Collective decisions and voting. Burlington: Ashgate. Google Scholar
- Tideman, T. N., & Plassmann, F. (2012). Modeling the outcomes of vote-casting in actual elections. In D. S. Felsenthal & M. Machover (Eds.), Electoral systems: paradoxes, assumptions, and procedures. New York: Springer. Google Scholar
- Young, H. P. (1986). Optimal ranking and choice from pairwise comparisons. In B. Grofman & G. Owen (Eds.), Information pooling and group decision making. Greenwich: Jai Press. Google Scholar