Econometrica: Mar 2021, Volume 89, Issue 2

Equitable Voting Rules
p. 563-589

Laurent Bartholdi, Wade Hann‐Caruthers, Maya Josyula, Omer Tamuz, Leeat Yariv

May's theorem (1952), a celebrated result in social choice, provides the foundation for majority rule. May's crucial assumption of symmetry, often thought of as a procedural equity requirement, is violated by many choice procedures that grant voters identical roles. We show that a weakening of May's symmetry assumption allows for a far richer set of rules that still treat voters equally. We show that such rules can have minimal winning coalitions comprising a vanishing fraction of the population, but not less than the square root of the population size. Methodologically, we introduce techniques from group theory and illustrate their usefulness for the analysis of social choice questions.

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