The Behavior of Political Parties
In chapter 4, it seemed reasonable or at least consistent with tradition to assume without justification that citizens maximize utility functions in which, in addition to private goods, government policies (of a public and private goods variety) enter as variables; the hypothesis that governing and opposition (i.e., non-governing) political parties (and politicians) maximize a utility function defined for a probability of reelection (or election) variable—and for other variables as well, as I will indicate below and examine in more detail in chapter 10—however needs explanation and defense. The present chapter, therefore, discusses the hypothesis in some detail, though the full implications of its meaning will only be known at the end of chapter 11 when it has been used to produce results.
KeywordsUtility Function Political Party American Economic Review Social Welfare Function Collective Decision
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