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Public Choice Theory

30 pages


Elections are the primary mechanism through whichgovernments are decided. It is indeed, also one of the oldestpractices of universal consent and what might be called as'multiple voices, one government'. Elections decide the destiny ofa country, the government that the people choose; it is in itsvery essence, a characteristic activity that defines an identity ofa nation. That can be thought of as quite obvious since thegovernments that people choose portray the type of societythey live in and define further their dreams and aspirations.Elections in theory, is an activity that can be thought of aswhirlwind of several mathematical and theoretical concepts.Several political scientists, mathematicians and philosophers havespoken too rightly about it and some have even gone stepsfurther to devise equations and theorems that define whatelections are comprised of.Considering that point, elections are one of the main attractionpoints when it comes to economic theories and what peopleaspire in socio-political terms. Although elections have so farbeen a subject of political thought, recently since the last fourdecades, several economists have been able to successfullycombine methods of game theory, probability and predictivetechniques with conceptscoming from economics and politicalscience, to come up with what is widely known as the publicchoice theory, a concept that tries to delve deep into the 'mind'of the voter and decode what really happens during the timeof elections, how opinions are formed and how these verysame opinions can either become a majority or a minorityamong the voter population. It also tries to, and has beensuccessful at that, in proving the notion that instead of a'collective' environment, elections are governed more byindividual choices and preferences, which when aggregatedamong the electorate, transforms into a majority or a minority,a concept different from the common understanding thatpolitical parties are won primarily by collective choices instead ofthem being individual. This book tries to explain the concept indetail and bridge the gap for thosewanting to understand thedeep mechanics governing elections and how voters, through acontinuous set of mathematical and economic concepts, decideon the suitability of the desired candidates.This book will offer a brief understanding of the concept andtry to shape the understanding about elections for most people.An introductory chapter on what is public choice is followed bythe theory's historical development starting from late 1700s tillmodern day, what concepts from several disciplines shape upour understanding about public choice with explanations foreach of these concepts for the reader to have more clarity forpublic choice is a fine relationship between several seeminglyunrelated matters. Finally, conclusion remarks on how thetheory applies on the general electorate followed by itsimplications and further evolution have also ben discussed.

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