What is 'Condorcet paradox' in Statistics?

November 30, 2017 12:02 am | Updated 12:02 am IST

The Condorcet paradox, whose origins are associated with the 18th century French philosopher, Marquis de Condorcet, is a formulation within social choice theory which postulates that even if preferences of individual voters are transitive, i.e. not cyclical, the collective preferences of society may be cyclical. For example, if a society prefers candidate x over y, y over z, it may nevertheless pick z over x rather than x over z. This voting paradox stems from the fact that conflicting majorities are not necessarily made up of individuals with identical preference orderings over the three candidates.

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