Some remarks on the probability of cycles - Appendix 3 to 'Epistemic democracy: generalizing the Condorcet jury theorem'

This item was published as 'Appendix 3: An Implication of the k-option Condorcet jury mechanism for the probability of cycles' in List and Goodin (2001) http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/705/. Standard results suggest that the probability of cycles should increase as the number of options increases and also as the number of individuals increases. These results are, however, premised on a so-called "impartial culture" assumption: any logically possible preference ordering is assumed to be as likely to be held by an individual as any other. The present chapter shows, in the three-option case, that given suitably systematic, however slight, deviations from an impartial culture situation, the probability of a cycle converges either to zero (more typically) or to one (less typically) as the number of individuals increases.

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19991/1/Some_remarks_on_the_probability_of_cycles_%28LSERO%29.pdf