Committee Karate: Axiomatic Social Choice Theory and the Design of Procedures to Manipulate Groups

Charles R. Plott
California Institute of Technology

Axiomatic social choice theory together with voting theory suggest ways to design decision making organizations that systematically manipulate the choice of voting groups. The principles go beyond those used in well-known voting paradoxes. Methods from experimental economics and experimental political science are used to test the success and limitations of the designs. By proper selection of committee membership, jurisdiction and procedural rules the experiments demonstrate that a voting group can be influenced to choose almost anything desired by the designer without the group detecting the manipulation.

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