Remzi Sanver

I was born in 1970.

I am a graduate of Galatasaray Lisesi, a high school which represents a tradition of education that is more than five centuries old.

My university education was in another tradition of education, Boğaziçi University, where I received a BS degree in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Economics.

My advisor was Murat Sertel, a great scientist and a friend whom I owe a lot and miss a lot.

Following the completion of my Ph.D. in 1998, I developed my whole professional career at Istanbul Bilgi University, a young but distinguished higher education institution of Turkey. There, I have been the founding director of the Murat Sertel Center for Advanced Economic Studies which I beleive to be a center of excellence in mathematical social sciences. I have also served as the rector of my University between 2011 and 2015.

Since October 2015, I am a director of research at CNRS, working at LAMSADE, Universite Paris Dauphine.

Scientific Research of M. Remzi Sanver

My scientific research can be described as the analysis of the collective decision making problem. My work is developed over four main axes which are the reflection of a coherent research agenda. The first axis is the analysis of the preference aggregation problem within the standard Arrovian framework. The second axis is the analysis of voting rules. The third axis is the particular emphasis given to the manipulability and strategy-proofness of voting rules. The fourth axis is the implementation of collective decision rules. As explained in more details below, my work contains original findings on each of these four axes, which contribute to our better understanding of the collective decision making problem, as well as helping to make better social decisions.

A result in a similar direction is by Dogan and Sanver (2008) which considers the aggregation of preferences over sets of alternatives and show that none of the natural domain restrictions that arise in this world allows to escape the Arrovian impossibility. We also show in Cengelci and Sanver (2007) that modeling the problem for a society of variable size does not help to escape the Arrovian impossibility. On the other hand, in Coban and Sanver (2014), we establish the existence of a large family of anonymous and neutral aggregation rules that satisfy a joint weakening of the Pareto and pairwise independence conditions. As another positive result, in Sanver and Selcuk (2009), we show that extending the range of aggregation rules by allowing a kind of ambiguity in the social preference ends up in the existence of Pareto optimal, pairwise independent and non-dictatorial aggregation rule. My work on modelling various social phenomena as an aggregation problem can also be seen to stand over this axis. For example, our findings in Cengelci and Sanver (2010) contribute to the literature which conceives the collective identity determination problem as an aggregation of individual opinions. The model of Can and Sanver (2009) might be the first time where stereotype formation is treated as an aggregation problem. In fact, there are many open questions about this problem which I plan to pursue.
In Selcuk and Sanver (2010) we propose a new chararazterization of the Copeland rule. Nevertheless, I think that my major contributions on this axis is my work on two particular rules, namely the majority rule and approval voting. The various characterizations of the majority rule proposed in Asan and Sanver (2002, 2006) and Sanver (2009a) contribute to a better understanding of majoritarianism. In Brams and Sanver (2006), Laslier and Sanver (2010a) we establish new properties of Approval Voting and Laslier and Sanver (2010b) gives one of the most complete accounts of the literature on this rule. My work on approval voting and particularly its required informational framework paved the way to the description of a new informational framework for social choice that is formally proposed in Sanver (2010). Within this new framework, we have been able to conceive new social choice rules (Brams, Kilgour and Sanver (2006, 2007), Brams and Sanver (2009)). Moreover, various concepts of social choice theory can be revisited within this new framework (e.g., as Erdamar, García-Lapresta, Pérez-Román and Sanver (2014) do) and this is certainly an area where we still have lot to understand, which is in my future research agenda.
As this analysis requires a well-understanding of the relationship between preferences over alternatives and preferences over sets of alternatives, I had to derive new findings in this regard which have been separately published in Kaymak and Sanver (2003), Can, Erdamar and Sanver (2009) and Erdamar and Sanver (2009). Another focus on this axis has been my analysis of the effects of domain restrictions on the strategy-proofness of collective decision making rules. As examples in this direction, I will mention Sanver (2007) showing that –contrary to the standard intuition- expanding the domains of social choice rules can help escaping the Gibbard-Satterthwaite impossibility; Sanver (2009b) characterizing the domain restrictions that render the plurality rule strategy-proof; Chatterji, Sanver and Sen (2013) establishing domains that admit strategy-proof social choice functions which do satisfy various desirable properties. My research on strategy-proofness also includes the elaboration of the various “monotonicity” conditions of the literature which are closely related to non-manipulability. In Zwicker and Sanver (2009, 2012) and Ozkal Sanver and Sanver (2010), we introduce new monotonicity conditions and establish their relevance to non-manipulability. Another direction of research into strategy-proofness has been the introduction of indices that measure the degree of manipulability of social choice rules and compute these indices for various social choice rules, as we do in Aleskerov, Karabekyan, Sanver and Yakuba (2011a, 2011b, 2012). Learning more about “how much” a social choice rule is manipulable is a topic on my future research agenda.

For example, mechanisms with awards (Sanver (2006a)) or mechanisms with set-valued outcome functions (Ozkal Sanver and Sanver (2006b)) pave the way to implement via Nash equilibria certain interesting collective decision rules which are otherwise non-implementable. In a similar vein, as Ozkal Sanver and Sanver (2005) show, certain type pretension mechanisms lead to positive results regarding the implementability of matching rules.

Another direction is the analysis of social choice rules that are not Nash implementable, aiming to see “how far” they are from being implementable. A way to approach this question is to compute the minimal extension that renders a social choice rule Nash implementable as Erdem and Sanver (2005) do for scoring rules and Sanver (2006b) does for the majority rule. In the same direction but with a different approach, Sanver (2008) characterizes the domain restrictions that render the plurality rule Nash implementable. Again as a contribution to this direction, in Benoit, Ok and Sanver (2007), we propose a new approach to evaluate the “closeness” of social choice rules to be Nash implementable. The third direction is to explore the “performance” of certain collective decision rules by computing the equilibrium outcomes of the preference manipulation game that they induce when instituted as the outcome function. For example, we know from we know from Sertel and Sanver (2004) that for a fairly large class of voting rules, when strong Nash equilibrium is the solution concept, the achieved outcome is the Condorcet winner or a kind of its generalization. Results of the same spirit prevail for public good economies: Sertel and Sanver (1999) show that when the Lindahl rule is instituted without knowing initial endowments, at the Nash eqilibria of the endowment-pretension game we reach the voluntary contributions solution. Sanver (2005) derives similar results for a more general class of public good allocation rules.


  • Aleskerov, F, D Karabekyan, M Sanver and V Yakuba (2011a), On the degree of manipulability of multi-valued social choice rules, Homo Oeconomicus, 28 (1-2), 205-216.
  • Aleskerov, F, D Karabekyan, M Sanver and V Yakuba (2011b), An individual manipulability of positional voting rules, SE IEs – Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, 2, 431-446.
  • Aleskerov, F, D Karabekyan, M Sanver and V Yakuba (2012), On the manipulability of voting rules: the case of 4 and 5 alternatives, Mathematical Social Sciences, 64, 67-73.
  • Asan, G and M Sanver (2002), Another characterization of the majority rule, Economics Letters, 75 (3), 409-413.
  • Asan, G and M Sanver (2006), Maskin monotonic aggregation rules, Economics Letters, 91 (2), 179-183.
  • Benoit, JP, E Ok, M Sanver (2007), On combining implementable social choice rules, Games and Economic Behavior, 60 (1), 20-30.
  • Brams, SJ and M Sanver (2006), Critical strategies under approval voting: who gets ruled in and who gets ruled out, Electoral Studies, 25 (2), 287-305.
  • Brams, SJ and M Sanver (2009), Voting systems that combine approval and preference, in The Mathematics of Preference, Choice and Order (eds. Brams, S., W.V. Gehrlein and F.S. oberts), Springer, 215-237.
  • Brams, SJ, DM Kilgour and M Sanver (2006), How to elect a representative committee using approval balloting, in Mathematics and Democracy: ecent Advances in Voting Systems and Collective Choice (eds. B. Simeone and F. Pukelsheim), Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg.
  • Brams, SJ, DM Kilgour and M Sanver (2007), A minimax procedure for electing committees , Public Choice, 132 (3-4), 401-420.
  • Can, B and M Sanver (2009), Stereotype formation as trait aggregation, Mathematical Social Sciences, 58(2), 226-237.
  • Can, B, B Erdamar and M Sanver (2009), Expected utility consistent extensions of preferences, Theory and Decision, 67(2), 123-144.
  • Cengelci, MA and M Sanver (2007), Is abstention an escape from Arrow’s Theorem? Social Choice and Welfare, 28(3), 439-442.
  • Cengelci, MA and M Sanver (2010), Simple collective identity functions, Theory and Decision, 68(4), 417-443.
  • Chatterji, S, A Sen and M Sanver (2013), On domains that admit well-behaved strategy-proof social choice functions, Journal of Economic Theory,148 (3), 1050- 1073.
  • Coban C. and M Sanver (2014), Social choice without the Pareto principle under weak independence, Social Choice and Welfare, 43(4), 953-961.
  • Dogan, E and M Sanver (2008), Arrovian impossibilities in aggregating preferences over sets, Social Choice and Welfare, 30 (3), 495-506.
  • Erdamar, B and M Sanver (2009), Choosers as extension axioms, Theory and Decision, 67(4), 375-384.
  • Erdamar, B, JL García-Lapresta, D Pérez- omán, M Sanver (2014), Measuring consensus in a preference-approval context, Information Fusion, 17, 14-21.
  • Erdem, O and M Sanver (2005), Minimal monotonic extensions of scoring rules, Social Choice and Welfare, 25, 31-42.
  • Kaymak, B and M Sanver (2003), Sets of alternatives as Condorcet winners, Social Choice and Welfare, 20 (3), 477-494.
  • Laslier, JF and M Sanver (2010a), The basic approval voting game, in Handbook on Approval Voting (eds. Laslier, JF, M Sanver), Springer.
  • Laslier, JF and M Sanver (2010b), Handbook on Approval Voting, Springer.
  • Ozdemir, U and M Sanver (2007), Dictatorial domains in preference aggregation, Social Choice and Welfare, 28, 61-76.
  • Ozkal-Sanver, I and M Sanver (2005), Implementing matching rules by type pretension mechanisms, Mathematical Social Sciences, 50, 304-317.
  • Ozkal-Sanver, I and M Sanver (2006a), Ensuring Pareto optimality by referendum voting, Social Choice and Welfare, 27 (1), 211-219.
  • Ozkal-Sanver, I and M Sanver (2006b), Nash implementation via hyperfunctions, Social Choice and Welfare, 26 (3), 607-623.
  • Ozkal-Sanver, I and M Sanver (2010), A new monotonicity condition for tournament solutions, Theory and Decision, 69(3), 439-452.
  • Ozyurt, S and M Sanver (2008), Strategy-proof resolute social choice correspondences , Social Choice and Welfare, 30 (1), 89-101.
  • Ozyurt, S and M Sanver (2009), A general impossibility result on strategy-proof social choice hyperfunctions , Games and Economic Behavior, 66, 880-892.
  • Sanver, M (2002), Scoring rules cannot respect majority in choice and elimination simultaneously, Mathematical Social Sciences, 43 (2), 151-155.
  • Sanver, M (2005), Equilibrium outcomes of taxation endowment games, eview of Economic Design, 9 (4), 307-316.
  • Sanver, M (2006a), Nash implementing non-monotonic social choice rules by awards, Economic Theory, 28 (2), 453-460.
  • Sanver, M (2006b), Nash implementation of the majority rule, Economics Letters, 91 (3), 369-372.
  • Sanver, M (2007), A characterization of superdictatorial domains for strategy-proof social choice functions, Mathematical Social Sciences, 54 (3), 257-260.
  • Sanver, M (2008), Nash implementability of the plurality rule over restricted domains, Economics Letters, 99, 298-300.
  • Sanver, M (2009a), Characterizations of majoritarianism - a unified approach, Social Choice and Welfare, 33(1), 159-171.
  • Sanver, M (2009b), Strategy-proofness of the plurality rule over restricted domains, Economic Theory, 39(3), 461-471.
  • Sanver, M (2010), Approval as an intrinsic part of preference, in Handbook on Approval Voting (eds. Laslier, JF, M Sanver), Springer.
  • Sanver, M and O Selcuk (2009), Sophisticated preference aggregation , Social Choice and Welfare, 33(1), 73-86.
  • Sanver, M and O Selcuk (2010), A characterization of the Copeland solution, Economics Letters, 107, 354-355.
  • Sanver, M and WS Zwicker (2009), One-way monotonicity as a form of strategy- proofness , International Journal of Game Theory, 38(4), 553-574.
  • Sanver, M and WS Zwicker (2012), Monotonicity properties and their adaptation to irresolute social choice rules , Social Choice and Welfare, 39(2-3), 371-398.
  • Sertel, M and M Sanver (1999), Equilibrium outcomes of Lindahl endowment- pretension games, European Journal of Political Economy, 1999, 15 (2), 149-162.
  • Sertel, M and M Sanver (2004), Strong equilibrium outcomes of voting games are the generalized Condorcet winners, Social Choice and Welfare, 22, 331-347.


The graduate programme in Economics at Bilgi University is a part of this tradition of mathematical social sciences. It aims to equippe students with the necessary and sufficient background to pursue a Ph. D. degree in economics or political economy in any respected academic institution of the world.

We welcome any student with strong analytical skills, independent of his/her undergraduate degree.

Official information about the programme can be found at (Don’t be fooled by the fact that it is classified under the “MBA” category! It has nothing to do with a masters in business administration.)

Structure of the Programme

The structure of the programme is fairly simple. The first year, students take four courses per semester. Three of these (Econometrics, Macroeconomic Theory and Microeconomic Theory) are core courses. They are also expected to take one elective course per semester. Electing courses on (applied) mathematics is consistent with the spirit of the programme.

The second year is reserved for the masters thesis. A masters thesis means a (possibly modest) contribution to the body of scientific knowledge. Testing the existence of such a contribution will be according to international standards –which means via its publishability in internationally respected scientific journals.

Hence, having high grades in the courses is necessary but not sufficient to be classified as a good student. What we understand by a good student is one who is able to do scientific research according to international standards.

Scolarship Opportunities

We are able to give around ten full scolarships every year on a competitive basis, thanks to the generosity of the board of trustees of Bilgi University.

In 1983, we took the cruise down South to Bodrum (the ancient Halicarnassos) which is a resort town on the Aegean Coast and since 1984 we have simply taken the Workshop itself on board, going out on a pair of yachts for the entire week of the Workshop. Typically, we embark/disembark at one of the Southwestern Turkish yachting ports of Bodrum, Marmaris or Gocek (by Fethiye). Instead of holding the conference at a hotel, we do it at sea, on our yachts, waking up in a new bay every morning.

From ten to a dozen presentations on Economic Design are made at each workshop. (On two yachts we have a total of ten to twelve cabins, and we average a paper per cabin.) This means about two presentations each morning, beginning after our first breakfast on board, i.e. on the first day after we sail. This is the ``formal" part of the Workshop, and much discussion continues on deck or during a walk on shore or in the sea. During the ``formal" Workshop each morning the two ships are separated, one of them becoming strictly for the sessions and the other serving the accompanying non-economists. The ships are brought back together for lunch and thereafter.

Financial Matters

The Workshops are self-financed, i.e. they are run on a cost-sharing formula applied to the participants. You can expect that it will cost $1600 a couple, including a week's food and drink and accomodation in the double cabin occupied by the couple. This includes the service we get from a captain, a cook and a mate on each yacht. The culinary aspect has so far been pretty satisfactory. Getting to our point of embarkation and from our point of disembarkation is the participant's own business, and of course uncovered by the above formula.


Depending on whether you want to see Istanbul, or the Izmir region(with Ephesus and Pergamon) or Antalya and its historical surroundings, you can fly into Istanbul, Izmir or Antalya. Or else you can fly to Dalaman, which is the nearest airport to our ships. Likewise for the return.

If you need help, please ask for it, and I will try to be useful.


Alumni of the Workshop are a good source of further information, and you are likely to be close to someone, so a list of them is included below for your consultation:

Sydney Afriat, Nuray Akin, Charalambos Aliprantis, Ahmet Alkan, Sumru Altug, Bora Arslan, Mehmet Bac, Nick Baigent, Salvador Barbera, Erdem Basci, Ken Binmore, Francis Bloch, Harun Bulut, David Cass, Suchan Chae, Fangruo Chen, Carl Chiarella, Alexandro Citanna, Sergio Currarini, Todd Davies, Rajat Deb, Gabrielle Demange, Evsey Domar, Bhaskar Dutta, Nevzat Eren, Haluk Ergin, Maria Paz Espinosa, Joan Esteban, Chaim Fershtman, William Gehrlein, Faruk Gul, David Gale, Lu Hong, Leonid Hurwicz, Tatsuro Ichiishi, Rahmi Ilkilic, Matthew Jackson, Ayca Kara, Tarik Kara, Ayca Kaya, Cagatay Kayi, Rich Kihlstrom, Paul Kleindorfer, Semih Koray, Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky, John Ledyard, Thomas Marschak, Robin Marris, Leslie Marx, Michael Maschler, Dennis Mueller, Peter Mueller, Rosemarie Nagel, Bilin Neyapti, Juan Pablo Nicolini, Jorge Nieto, Efe Ok, Benan Zeki Orbay, Hakan Orbay, Ipek Ozkal-Sanver, Szilvia Papai, Ivan Pastine, Tuvana Pastine, Charlie Plott, Andy Postlewaite, Luis Quintas, Martine Quinzii, Roy Radner, Remzi Sanver, Norman Schofield, James Schummer, Arunava Sen, Ayse Mumcu Serdar, Murat Sertel, Hugo Sonnenschein, Alexandre Sotskov, Ennio Stacchetti, Alfred Steinherr, Kotaro Suzumura, William Thomson, Alain Trannoy, Jacques Thisse, Jose-Ramon Uriarte, Shlomo Weber, John Weymark, Simon Wilkie, Ali Nuvit Veysoglu, Mehmet Emin Yildirim, Muhamet Yildiz, Jose M. Zarzuelo, Unal Zenginobuz.

The 2003 Workshop

It was held between 23-30 August at Marmaris. 13 presentations were made.


M. Remzi Sanver

Professor of Economics, Director of Research at CNRS