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Consensus in organizations: Hunting for the social choice conundrum in APA elections.

Popov, Sergey V. ORCID:, Popova, Anna and Regenwetter, Michel 2014. Consensus in organizations: Hunting for the social choice conundrum in APA elections. Decision 1 (2) , pp. 123-146. 10.1037/dec0000010

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According to the axiomatic literature on consensus methods, the best collective choice by one method of preference aggregation can easily be the worst by another. Are award committees, electorates, managers, online retailers, and web-based recommender systems stuck with an impossibility of rational preference aggregation? We investigate this social choice conundrum for 7 social choice methods: Condorcet, Borda, Plurality, Antiplurality, the Single Transferable Vote, Coombs, and Plurality Runoff. We rely on Monte Carlo simulations for theoretical results and on 12 ballot datasets from American Psychological Association (APA) presidential elections for empirical results. Each of these elections provides partial rankings of 5 candidates from about 13,000 to about 20,000 voters. APA preferences are neither domain-restricted nor generated by an Impartial Culture. We find virtually no trace of a Condorcet paradox. In direct contrast with the classical social choice conundrum, competing consensus methods agree remarkably well, especially on the overall best and worst options. The agreement is also robust under perturbations of the preference profile via resampling, even in relatively small pseudo samples. We also explore prescriptive implications of our findings.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 2325-9973
Funders: National Science Foundation Grants SES #08â20009, ICES #1216016 (PI: M. Regenwetter), the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (PI: A. Popova), and the Basic Research Program at National Research University Higher School of Economics (S. Popov).
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 11:49

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