Example of Arrows impossibilty theorem in action

A disscussion of the evolution of what we are today and how we got here:
mSparks
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Postby mSparks » Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:48 pm

the original vote results from:

<a href='http://economics.about.com/gi/pages/poll.htm?poll_id=8166367342&linkback=' target='_blank'>about.com economics poll</a>

Code: Select all

Will the War in Iraq boost the U.S. economy?

No.  (1040)      44%   

Yes.  (506)      21%   

It will help in the long run, but hurt in the short run.  (623)  26%   

Unsure/Undecided/Other  (188)    7%   

Total Votes: 2357


A quick glance at the results of this poll shows "No" to have by far the greatest number of votes (twice as many as yes).

Buy look again, "It will help in the long run, but hurt in the short run. " and "Yes" are very similar, if that third choice wasn't present the result could have been very different:

Code: Select all

Will the War in Iraq boost the U.S. economy?

No.  (1040)      44%   

Yes.  (1129)      48%   

Unsure/Undecided/Other  (188)    8%   

Total Votes: 2357


This time the greater percentage of people think the war will boost the US economy, very different from the original result.

All this has been explained in precise detail in a paper entitled 'arrows impossibility theorum' but in short it boils down to manipulating a vote by splitting the choice you dont want to win accross several choices.
© Mark 'mSparks' Parker 2010
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