Duncan Black

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Date of Birth May 23, 1908
Place of Birth Scotland
Date of Death Jan 14, 1991 (82)
Horoscope Gemini

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Duncan Black was a Scottish economist who laid the foundations of social choice theory. In particular he was responsible for unearthing the work of many early political scientists, including Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and was responsible for the Black electoral system, a Condorcet method whereby, in the absence of a Condorcet winner, the Borda winner is chosen.

Born: 23, 1908, Motherwell, Scotland
Died: 14, 1991, Paignton, England
Nationality: British

About Duncan Black

Economist whose scholarly work led to the development of social choice theory. His work popularized and drew upon the theories of Ronald Coase and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

Before Fame

He studied economics, politics, physics, and mathematics at the University of Glasgow.


He taught at University College of North Wales and the Dundee School of Economics and held visiting professorships at several American universities.

Family Life

He grew up in a lower-class family in Motherwell, Scotland.


Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen worked on social choice theory, a field of inquiry that Black helped to bring about.

Information related to Duncan Black

  • Median voter theorem - The median voter theorem states that "a majority rule voting system will select the outcome most preferred by the median voter".
  • Public choice theory - Public choice or public choice theory is "the use of economic tools to deal with traditional problems of political science". Its content includes the study of political behavior.
  • Voting theorists
  • Scottish economists
  • Fellows of the Econometric Society
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Latest information about Duncan Black updated on January 18, 2021.

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