Existence of a Condorcet Winner When Voters Have Other-Regarding Preferences
Article first published online: 7 SEP 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Public Economic Theory
Volume 12, Issue 5, pages 897–922, October 2010
How to Cite
DHAMI, S. and AL-NOWAIHI, A. (2010), Existence of a Condorcet Winner When Voters Have Other-Regarding Preferences. Journal of Public Economic Theory, 12: 897–922. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9779.2010.01479.x
We are grateful to helpful comments from participants at the Public Economics Weekend at the University of Leicester, June 2007. In particular we would like to thank Ian Preston and Hamish Low. We are also grateful to the editor, associate editor, and two referees for their comments and guidance.
- Issue published online: 7 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 7 SEP 2010
- Received June 19, 2008; Accepted June 27, 2009.
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.