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Existence of a Condorcet Winner When Voters Have Other-Regarding Preferences

Authors
Disciplines
  • Political Science

Abstract

In standard political economy models, voters are "self-interested" that is, care only about "own" utility. However, the emerging evidence indicates that voters often have "other-regarding preferences" (ORP), that is, in deciding among alternative policies voters care about their payoffs relative to others. We extend a widely used general equilibrium framework in political economy to allow for voters with ORP, as in Fehr and Schmidt (1999) . In line with the evidence, these preferences allow voters to exhibit "envy" and "altruism," in addition to the standard concern for "own utility." We give sufficient conditions for the existence of a Condorcet winner when voters have ORP. This could open the way for an incorporation of ORP in a variety of political economy models. Furthermore, as a corollary, we give more general conditions for the existence of a Condorcet winner when voters have purely selfish preferences. Copyright � 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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