In Majority Judgment, Michel Balinski and Rida Laraki argue that the traditional theory of social choice offers no acceptable solution to the problems of how to elect, to judge, or to rank. They find that the traditional model—transforming the "preference lists" of individuals into a "preference list" of society—is fundamentally flawed in both theory and practice. Balinski and Laraki propose a more realistic model. It leads to an entirely new theory and method--majority judgment—proven superior to all known methods. It is at once meaningful, resists strategic manipulation, elicits honesty, and is not subject to the classical paradoxes encountered in practice, notably Condorcet's and Arrow's. They offer theoretical, practical, and experimental evidence—from national elections to figure skating competitions—to support their arguments. Drawing on insights from wine, sports, music, and other competitions, Balinski and Laraki argue that the question should not be how to transform many individual rankings into a single collective ranking, but rather, after defining a common language of grades to measure merit, how to transform the many individual evaluations of each competitor into a single collective evaluation of all competitors. The crux of the matter is a new model in which the traditional paradigm—to compare—is replaced by a new paradigm—to evaluate.
About the Authors
Michel Balinski is Directeur de Recherche de classe exceptionnelle (Emeritus), C.N.R.S. and the Laboratoire d’Econométrie, Département d’Économie, École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France.
Rida Laraki is Chargé de Recherche de première classe, C.N.R.S., Laboratoire d’Econométrie, Professeur, Département d’Économie, École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, and Chercheur Associé, Équipe Combinatoire et Optimisation, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.
—Robert J. Frey, CEO and Founder, FQS Capital Partners, LLC, Research Professor, Stony Brook University
—Eric S. Maskin, A. O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study; Nobel laureate in Economics (2007)
—Ralph E. Gomory, New York University; President Emeritus, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; former Senior Vice President for Science and Technology, IBM; National Medal of Science laureate
—Jack Nagel, Steven F. Goldstone Endowed Term Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
—H. Peyton Young, James Meade Professor of Economics, University of Oxford
—John A. Weymark, Professor of Economics, Vanderbilt University; former President, Society for Social Choice and Welfare
—Robert Aumann, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Center for Rationality, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Nobel laureate in Economics (2005)
—Kenneth J. Arrow, Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research, Emeritus, Stanford University; Nobel laureate in Economics (1972)
—Iain McLean, Professor of Politics, University of Oxford
—Martin Shubik, Seymour Knox Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Institutional Economics, Yale University