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On Nobel Prizes, Primaries, and Decision Theory

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4 Responses

  1. Drexel Student says:

    Maskin’s system (more accurately it is probably a variant of Borda’s system) still allows strategic voting. Voters who see that there are two clear front runners simply move the frontrunner they prefer to the top of their list, rather than throwing their single vote behind him. Under both Maskin’s system and our current system, true preferences are hidden behind strategic voting.

  2. Greg says:

    I don’t think you can game Maskin’s system that way, since it’s not a Borda count. It’s a pairwise election based on preferences. Basically, you choose the Condorcet winner. So, if my main candidate is Richardson, but I’d prefer to see Obama win over Hillary, I’d rank them Richardson – Obama – Hillary. In the pairwise race between Obama and Hillary, Obama would get my vote. In the race between Richardson and either other candidate, Richardson would get my vote. The winner is the one who would win in every race. Moving Obama to the top doesn’t make it more likely that he’ll win against Hillary, just more likely to win against Richardson.

    Maskin’s system can be gamed, but only if there is a Condorcet tie, where candidate A beats B beats C beats A.

  3. Syd says:

    It’s not obvious to me why producing the Condorcet winner is the method we should use. It’s just one of many methods. No method is perfect.The important thing is to have a system where people can accept the winner. You could use a point total system like the Baseball MVP award if people accept it and know the rules well in advance.

  4. Drexel Student says:

    Is this the same as the “garden-path” method?

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