chapter10_cq--C

chapter10_cq--C - Principles of Comparative Politics...

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Chapter 10: Democracies and Its Varieties Principles of Comparative Politics
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The Problem with Group Choice Condorcet’s Paradox: A set of rational individual’s may not act rationally when they act as a group Rational Individuals have complete and transitive preference orderings.
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Rational Actors: Let indicate that x is preferred to y by individual i in the sense that, given a choice between x and y the individual would choose x. An actor has a complete preference ordering if she can compare each pair of elements (call them x and y ) in a set of outcomes in one of the following ways – either the actor prefers x to y , y to x , or she is indifferent between them. An actor has a transitive preference ordering if for any x , y , and z in the set of outcomes it is the case that if x is weakly preferred to y , and y is weakly preferred to z , then it must be the case that x is weakly preferred to z . x f i y
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Condorcet's paradox: An Example Imagine a city council made up of three individuals that must decide whether to: Increase social services ( I) Decrease social services (D) Maintain current levels of services (C)
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Assume councillors have the following preferences:
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Round Robin tournament Suppose Councillors vote over all sets of pair-wise comparisons using majority rule and the alternative that wins the most pair-wise contests is the group choice.
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The group "can't decide": Each alternative wins 1 round
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These preferences, combined with this procedure, produces "Cyclical Majorities "
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Condorcet's Paradox This example demonstrated that its possible for a set of rational individuals to form a group with intransitive preferences. That is, individual rationality and majority rule does not guarantee that an alternative will arise as a Condorcet winner.
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Majority Rule is problematic 1. Who’s the majority? (each alternative won a majority of support) 2. Sometimes there is no decisive winner 3. When the group’s preferences are intransitive there is either no stable outcome or the outcome is determined by the rules of the game. Typically, a rule designating an agenda setter is decisive
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How big of a problem is Condorcet's Paradox? Probability of group intransitivity= p(m,n) where m is the number of alternatives and n is the number of voters Specifically: n m ions configurat preference problem of p ) ! ( " " # ivity) (intransit =
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When either the number of alternatives or the number of voters is large… Cyclical majorities are likely
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Many decisions in democracy involve either many "voters" or a large number of alternatives Thus, if decisions were made by round-robin tournament, we would expect to observe a great deal of policy instability. Most scholars believe we observe more policy stability
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This note was uploaded on 05/25/2010 for the course POSC 15 taught by Professor Indrig during the Spring '10 term at UC Riverside.

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chapter10_cq--C - Principles of Comparative Politics...

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