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Generalized Measures of Polarization in Preferences

Burak Can (), Ali Ozkes () and Ton Storcken
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Ton Storcken: Department of Quantitative Economics [Maastricht] - Maastricht University [Maastricht]

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Abstract: We provide axiomatic characterizations for measures of polarization in profiles of preferences that are represented as rankings of alternatives. Polarization is seen as the extent to which opinions are opposed. We provide characterizations for an extension of this simple intuition on the pairs of alternatives to the cases with more than two alternatives. Our primary generalization allows for different treatment among issues, i.e., pairs of alternatives. Secondly, we show that the characterization result continues to hold when preferences are allowed to attain indifferences. Finally, we show that we can also impose a domain restriction that only allows for single-peaked preferences and retain our characterization. Our results point to a fundamental feature of measures on profile of preferences that are based on pairwise comparisons of alternatives.

Keywords: social choice; measurement; polarization; single-peaked preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-upt
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