Advertisement

Unpopular Policies and the Theory of Representative Democracy

Chapter
  • 155 Downloads
Part of the International Studies in Economics and Econometrics book series (ISEE, volume 28)

Abstract

Their platforms reflect concern with enhancing the probability of being elected, but some candidates often, or all candidates occasionally, voluntarily adopt stances that reduce that probability. Governments care about their popularity, but sometimes they choose, even before an election, to announce or implement policies that are unpopular. For most people, the phenomenon is no news and is not altogether a unhappy one. Deprecating words such as demagogy or “mob rule” and praising ones such as leadership or statesmanship express a deeply-rooted, widely-shared concern about the possibility that democratic politicians could be too subservient to public opinion.

Keywords

Public Choice Public Opinion Policy Preference Policy Position Policy Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Alesina, A. “Macroeconomic policy in a two-party system as a repeated game”.Quarterly Journal of Economics102, 3 (August 1987): 651–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alesina, A. “Credibility and policy-convergence in a two-party system with rational voters”.American Economic Review78, 4 (September 1988): 796–805Google Scholar
  3. Alesina, A. “Politics and business cycles in industrial democracies”.Economic Policy8 (April 1989): 58–98Google Scholar
  4. Alesina, A., and Sachs, J. “Political parties and the business cycle in the United States, 1948–1984”.Journal of Money Credit and Banking20 (February 1988): 63–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alesina, A., and Spear, S.E. “An overlapping generations model of electoral competition”Journal of Public Economics37, 3 (December 1988): 359–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Austen-Smith, D., and Riker, W.H. “Asymmetric information and the coherence of legislation”.American Political Science Review81 (1987): 897–918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bean, C., and Mughan, A. “Leadership effects in parliamentary elections in Australia and Britain”.American Political Science Review83, 4 (December 1989): 1165–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Breton, A. “The growth of competitive government”.Canadian Journal of Economics22, 4 (November 1989): 717–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Breton, A., and Wintrobe, R.The logic of bureaucratic conduct.New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Calvert, R.L. “Robustness of the multidimensional voting model, candidate motivation, uncertainty and convergence”American Journal of Political Science39, 1 (February 1985): 69–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen, J. “An epistemic conception of democracy”.Ethics97 (1986): 26–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coleman, J., and Ferejohn, J. “Democracy and Social Choice”.Ethics97 (1986): 6–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Downs, A.An economic theory of democracy.New York: Harper & Row, 1957Google Scholar
  14. Enelow, J.M., and Hinich, M.J.The spatial theory of voting: An introduction.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984Google Scholar
  15. Enelow, J.M., and Hinich, M.J. “The theory of predictive mappings”, in J.M. Enelow and M. J. Hinich (eds.)Advances in the spatial theory of voting.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 167–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Estlund, D.M.; Waldron, J.; Grofman, B.N., and Feld, S.L. Symposium under the title: “Democratic theory and the public interest: Condorcet and Rousseau revisited”.American Political Science Review83, 4(December1989: 1317–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fiorina, M.P.Retrospective voting in American national elections.New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981Google Scholar
  18. Galeotti, G., and Breton, A. “An economic theory of political parties”.Kyklos39, 1 (1986): 47–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Giesbert, F.- O.Le président.Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1990Google Scholar
  20. Grofman, B.N., and Feld, S.L. “Rousseau’s general will: a Condorcetian perspective”.American Political Science Review82 (1988): 567–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kuran, T. “Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated,political revolution”.Public Choice61, 1 (April 1989): 41–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lafay, J.-D. “The silent revolution of probabilistic voting”. Paper presented at the 4th Villa Colombella Seminar, Montreal, September 1990, mimeoGoogle Scholar
  23. Miller, A., Wattenberg, M.P., and Malanchuk, O. “Schematic assessments of presidential candidates”.American Political Science Review80 (1986): 521–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mueller, D.C.Public Choice II.Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989Google Scholar
  25. Noelle-Neumann, E. Die Schweigespirale: Oeffentliche Meinung - unsere soziale Haut. R. Piper & Co. Verlag, Munich, 1980. Translated into English under the title The spiral of silence: Public opinion, our social skin. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1984Google Scholar
  26. Nordlinger, E.A.On the autonomy of the democratic state.Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981Google Scholar
  27. Paldam, M. “Politics matter after all (1): Testing Alesina’s theory of RE partisanship cycles on data for 17 countries”, in N. Thygesen and K. Velupillai (eds.)Recent developments in Business Cycles Theory: Methods and Empirical Applications.London: Macmillan (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  28. Riker, W.H. “Heresthetic and rhetoric in the spatial model”, in J.M. Enelow and M. J. Hinich (eds.)Advances in the spatial theory of voting.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 46–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Seldon, A. “Public choice and the choices of the public”, in C.W. Rowley (ed.)Democracy and public choice: Essays in honor of Gordon Tullock.Oxford: Blackwell, 1987Google Scholar
  30. Salmon, P. “The logic of pressure groups and the structure of the public sector”.European Journal of Political Economy3, no.1–2 (1987): 55–86. (a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Salmon, P. “Decentralisation as an incentive scheme”.Oxford Review of Economic Policy3, no. 2 (1987): 24–43.(b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Salmon, P. “Checks and balances and international openness”, in A. Breton et al. (eds.)The competitive state. Villa Colombella papers on competitive politics.Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991, pp. 169–184Google Scholar
  33. Salmon, P., and Wolfelsperger, A. “From competitive equilibrium to democratic equilibrium: has the analogy been fruitful?”, paper presented at the 1990 meeting of the European Public Choice Society, Meersburg (Germany), April 1990. MimeoGoogle Scholar
  34. Slagstad, R. “Liberal constitutionalism and its critics: Carl Schmitt and Max Weber”, in J. Elster and R. Slagstad (eds.).Constitutional democracy.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988Google Scholar
  35. Wittman, D. “Candidate motivation: a synthesis of alternatives”American Political Science Review77, March 1983: 142–57Google Scholar
  36. Wittman, D. “Why democracies produce efficient results”.Journal of Political Economy97, 6 (December 1989): 1395–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations