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Aggregation theory and the relevance of some issues to others

Dietrich, Franz (2006): Aggregation theory and the relevance of some issues to others. Forthcoming in: Journal of Economic Theory

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Abstract

I propose a relevance-based independence axiom on how to aggregate individual yes/no judgments on given propositions into collective judgments: the collective judgment on a proposition depends only on people's judgments on propositions which are relevant to that proposition. This axiom contrasts with the classical independence axiom: the collective judgment on a proposition depends only on people's judgments on the same proposition. I generalize the premise-based rule and the sequential-priority rule to an arbitrary priority order of the propositions, instead of a dichotomous premise/conclusion order resp. a linear priority order. I prove four impossibility theorems on relevance-based aggregation. One theorem simultaneously generalizes Arrow's Theorem (in its general and indifference-free versions) and the well-known Arrow-like theorem in judgment aggregation.

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