Daunou’s Voting Rule and the Lexicographic Assignment of Priorities

Salvador Barberà, Walter Bossert*, Kotaro Suzumura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Pierre Daunou, a contemporary of Borda and Condorcet during the era of the French Revolution and active debates on alternative voting rules, proposed a rule that chooses the strong Condorcet winner if there is one, otherwise eliminates Condorcet losers and uses plurality voting on the remaining candidates. We characterize his rule which combines potentially conflicting desiderata of majoritarianism by ordering them lexicographically. This contribution serves not just to remind ourselves that a 19th-century vintage may still retain excellent aroma and taste, but also to promote a promising general approach to reconcile potentially conflicting desiderata by accommodating them lexicographically. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Nos.: D71, D72.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-289
JournalSocial Choice and Welfare
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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