Can anyone figure out the Best Picture voting, and why they changed it? One economist tried:
To dig deeper into the radical change made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists we turned to Justin Wolfers, associate professor of economics in the Business and Public Policy Department at the Wharton School.
This year's Oscar voting is, Wolfers says, "a fairly common election system. We call it the 'exhaustive preferential' system, or 'instant runoff system,' and it’s the way we elect our parliament in Australia."
Backing up, Wolfers gives me a quick lesson in the relation between elections and voting systems. "Political scientists and mathematicians have forever been engaged in the search for a perfect voting system," he says. "[Economist] Kenneth Arrow won the Nobel Prize for his 'Arrow Impossibility Theorem,' in which he wrote down all the things that a good electoral system would do and then proved that there is no system that meets all of those criteria. So we are always choosing the least worst system."
But 10 nominees? My god, the show's going to take days...