Public Choice

, Volume 158, Issue 3–4, pp 383–397 | Cite as

Cycles and instability in politics. Evidence from the 2009 Danish municipal elections

  • Malthe MunkøeEmail author


Social choice theory predicts that political processes are prone to instability or outright chaos, yet the evidence that actual politics is dominated by the phenomena identified in the literature is somewhat anecdotal and widely contested. In order to systematically assess the degree to which politics is affected by cyclicality or chaos as predicted by social choice theorists we study the outcome of the 2009 municipal elections in Denmark. This yields a total of 97 cases, which allows for a systematic assessment of the frequency of cycling through a large-n study. Evidence of four cyclical results is presented.


Social choice Condorcet cycle McKelvey chaos theorem Municipal politics Danish politics 

JEL Classification




I am grateful to professor Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard and four anonymous referees for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dansk Erhverv/The Danish Chamber of CommerceValbyDenmark

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