Crowdsourcing opinions

… or as they used to call it, “voting.”

That is what a site AllOurIdeas is designed to do. Here is the outcomes of their ranking of economics departments.

Basically, when you agree to enter into one of these ranking engines you are presented with a series of pairwise choices and asked to rank them. It is as if you are voting for them. Well at least I think it is as the algorithm was obscure. More interestingly, it would, of course, be subject to Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.

That said, there is something about the idea that pairwise comparisons are easier for people to work through than say having the whole 100 or so departments and just ranking them outright. One wonders whether Arrow’s Theorem would have some resolution if we could add some bounded rationality — i.e., that people have trouble formulating full rankings — to the mix?

Anyhow, I have created one of these based on a current issue in parenting. Anyone can of course, participate — not just parents. Just click here to vote.

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