Bhattacharya M., Gravel N. , (2021) Is the preference of the majority representative? Mathematical Social Sciences (20 April 2021)

Nicolas Gravel, the director of the Centre de Sciences Humaines and Mihir Bhattacharya an associate member of the CSH, co-wrote an article Is the preference of the majority representative?, published in the ELSEVIER Journal – Mathematical Social Sciences on 20th April 2021. This article provides a novel argument in favor of the “preference of the majority” as being “representative” of the collection of preferences from which it emanates

The article available HERE

Abstract: We show that a majoritarian relation is, among all conceivable binary relations, the most representative of the profile of preferences from which it emanates. We define ‘‘the most representative’’ to mean that it minimizes the sum of distances between itself and the preferences in the profile for a given distance function. We identify a necessary and sufficient condition for such a distance to always be minimized by a majoritarian relation. This condition requires the distance to be additive with respect to a plausible notion of compromise between preferences. The well-known Kemeny distance does satisfy this property, along with many others. All distances that satisfy this property can be written as a sum of strictly positive weights assigned to the ordered pairs of alternatives by which any two preferences differ

Nicolas Gravel

Mihir Bhattacharya

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