During the last 30 years about 300 papers on Vote and Popularity functions (VP-functions) (defined in Table 29.1) have been written.2 Most of the research is empirical. The purpose of this article is to survey this literature and discuss how the empirical results fit into economic theory.

From bedrock theory follows a remarkable amount of nice, sound theory, and everything can be generalized into the general equilibrium, growing along a steadystate path maximizing consumption. Politics convert the demand for public good into the optimal production of such goods and minimizing economic fluctuations. The past is relevant only as it allows the agents to predict the future, markets are efficient, etc. This nice theory is well known, and it is a wonderful frame of reference. Especially in the 1980s, a strong movement in economics argued that the world was really much closer to the bedrock than hitherto believed. If the noise terms are carefully formulated, the world is loglinear and everybody maximizes from now to infinity.


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  • Martin Paldam

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