Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior, and Institutions by Kenneth A. Shepsle

By Kenneth A. Shepsle

Studying Politics makes the basics of rational-choice idea available to undergraduates in transparent, nontechnical language.
Through case reviews, illustrations, and examples, the writer offers scholars with the capacity to investigate a wide selection of events. the second one version has been completely revised to incorporate up-to-date circumstances and examples, new challenge units and dialogue questions, and new “Experimental Corner” sections on the finish of many chapters, describing experiments from social technological know-how literature.

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Extra resources for Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior, and Institutions (2nd Edition) (The New Institutionalism in American Politics Series)

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Needless to say, it is hard to be rational, however you might define it, if you are utterly confused. It turns out, however, that many people do have hunches about likelihoods that they can associ ate with various actions. So, if pushed a bit, they can give some quantitative precision to their beliefs. 16 16 There are many theories of decision under uncertainty that cover the cir cumstances in which choosers cannot assign probabilities of outcomes to alternative actions. We do not review them here.

A third lesson of this example, one I pursue a bit further now, is that there are multiple ways for groups to decide by voting. We have already seen that rule by unanimity is one way for a group to proceed, but that in this particular case it fails to produce a solution to our group's problem since preferences are just too heterogeneous. Likewise, we have determined that first-preference majority rule, in which each person votes 3We actually have been purposeful in our "neglect," since this allows us to point out that larger societies often neglect to arrange for all possible con tingencies in their constitutional deliberations.

Had there been more friends, more alternatives, or more diverse preferences, a round-robin tournament may not have suited the needs of the group as well as some alternative method. Indeed, there are many ways in which to decide by voting. Often the institu tional features of the voting system will be absolutely essen tial in determining which alternative wins. " In this case I want to claim that the institutional pro cedure for conducting a vote to resolve a problem of group choice dramatically affects that group choice.

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