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Asymptotic vulnerability of positional voting rules to coalitional manipulation

Issofa Moyouwou and Hugue Tchantcho

Mathematical Social Sciences, 2017, vol. 89, issue C, 70-82

Abstract: Voting rule performances are sometimes evaluated according to their respective resistances to allow profitable misrepresentation of individual preferences. This seems to be a hard task when scoring systems with possibly non integer weights are involved. In this paper, it is shown how one can still obtain asymptotic results in these settings. Our analysis for three-candidate elections provides a characterization of unstable voting situations at which a positional voting rule is manipulable by some coalition not larger than an arbitrary proportion of the electorate. This allows us to address a conjecture by Pritchard and Wilson (2007). That is, under the Impartial Anonymous Culture (IAC), the plurality rule asymptotically minimizes the vulnerability to coalitional manipulation when the size of the manipulating coalition is unrestricted. This later result is no longer valid when only manipulation by small coalitions is considered: now, the Borda rule tends to outperform other rules. Furthermore, the vulnerability of a positional voting rule to coalitional manipulation is not affected by increasing the size of the manipulating coalition from 0.5 to 1.

Date: 2017
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