Using elections to represent preferences

Research paper by Vicki Knoblauch

Indexed on: 01 Oct '01Published on: 01 Oct '01Published in: Social Choice and Welfare


This paper takes voting theory out of the realm of mechanism design and studies elections as tools for representing preferences: every preference relation on a set of n elements is the outcome of pairwise voting by approximately 2 log2n voters with transitive preferences. Results like this one provide representation for preference relations not representable by utility functions. They also motivate definitions of the levels of intransitivity, nonlinearity and nonrepresentability (by utility function) of a preference relation.