The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Palgrave Macmillan

Voting Paradoxes

  • Donald G. Saari
Living reference work entry


After using an example to motivate why voting theory is so central to the social sciences, this survey describes some of the more recent (and, surprisingly, benign) interpretations of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem as well as explanations of the wide selection of voting paradoxes that drive this academic area. As described, it now is possible to explain all positional voting paradoxes while creating any number of illustrating examples.


Anti-plurality system Approval voting Arrow, K Axiomatic approach to decision rule choice Borda Count Condorcet, M Cumulative voting Elections Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem Impossibility theorem Independence of irrelevant alternatives Kruskal–Wallis test Luce, D Plurality vote Sonnenshein–Mantel–Debreu theorem Transitivity Voting paradoxes Voting rules Walras’s Law 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald G. Saari
    • 1
  1. 1.