Using simulation in the assessment of voting procedures: An epistemic instrumental approach

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Abstract
In this paper, we argue that computer simulations can provide valuable insights into the performance of voting methods on different collective decision problems. This could improve institutional design, even when there is no general theoretical result to support the optimality of a voting method. To support our claim, we first describe a decision problem that has not received much theoretical attention in the literature. We outline different voting methods to address that collective decision problem. Under certain criteria of assessment akin to extensions of the Condorcet Jury Theorem, we run simulations for the methods using MATLAB, in order to compare their performance under various conditions. We consider and respond to concerns about the use of simulations in the assessment of voting procedures for policymaking.
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Archival date: 2020-06-03
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2020-06-03

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