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Political Science
PSC 101

September 16 2013: Social Choice: • Describe what it means to have rational preferences( in the context of social choice theory) o An actor has rational if she possess a complete and transitive preferences ordering over a set of outcomes. • Find the Condorcet winner and/or determine whether one exists for a given set of preferences: o An alternate is a Condorcet winner if it beats all other alternatives in a round robin tournament • Describe and give an example of Condorcet’s paradox: o Claims that a group composed of individuals with rational preferences does not necessarily have rational preferences as a group. Individual rationality is not sufficient to guarantee group rationality. • Be familiar with “divide the dollar” game and the intransitive group preference that it produces. o No Condorcet winner • Be familiar with the two examples of intransitive group preferences from U.S tax legislation o LOOK UP • Know arrows four “fairness” conditions: o Universal Admissibility:  Individuals can adopt any rational preference ordering o Pareto Optimality(or unanimity) :  If every member of the group prefers X to Y , then the group must prefer X toY o Independence of irrelevant Alternatives:  Suppose that X to Y stand in some relationship in each members preference ordering if this relationship doesn’t change then the group preference between X and Y cannot change o Nondictatorship:  There is no single group member whose preference determines the group preference. • Understand arrows theorem: o Any voting rule that meets four fairness criteria is prone to cycles. • Understand how arrows theorem relates to plurality rule: o Plurality rule:  Notice that plurality rule violates at least one of arrows fairness conditions. • What does arrows Theorem tell us about legislative intent: o Blacks theorem and utility function o Two possible approaches to interpreting the law:  “plain meaning”  Legislative intent Political Knowledge: • Be familiar with how we defined knowledge conceptually o The range of factual information about poli
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