Economics and Democracy

  • Peter Self


This chapter switches attention to political factors which are relevant to the use of economic techniques, while the next one examines the social philosophy behind these techniques. Suppose that politics is viewed as a kind of market in which the voter as a consumer of public policy outputs is trying to express his preferences between them. On this basis the inferiority of political to economic markets needs little demonstration.


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    For a discussion of some of these issues see B. M. Barry, Sociologists, Economists and Democracy (London, 1970), which includes references to much of the voluminous literature.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy (New York, 1957). For evidence supporting the rationality of voting (in the sense described in the text)Google Scholar
  3. see V. O. Key Jr, The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting (Harvard University Press, 1966).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3.
    M. Olson Jr, The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Harvard University Press, 1965).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    E. C. Banfield, Political Influence (New York, 1961). Schultze, The Politics and Economics of Public Spending. Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    On this and other theories of democracy a useful book is R. A. Dahl, A Preface to Democratic Theory (University of Chicago Press, 1956).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    P. Self, Administrative Theories and Politics (London, 1972) pp. 277–89.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    J. C. Davies, The Evangelical Bureaucrat (London, 1974).Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    J. Plamenatz, ‘Interests’, Political Studies, vol. 11, no. 1 (Feb 1954) 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 9.
    P. Self and H. J. Storing, The State and the Farmer (London, 1962) chapter 10.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    B. M. Barry, Political Argument (London, 1965) chapter 10.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    D. B. Truman, The Governmental Process (New York, 1953).Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    D. Braybrooke and C. Lindblom, A Strategy of Decision: Policy Evaluation as a Social Process (New York, 1963).Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    C. Lindblom, The Intelligence of Democracy (New York, 1965).Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    A. Wildavsky, ‘The Political Economy of Efficiency’, Public Administration Review, vol. xxvi, no. 4 (Dec 1966) p. 228.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    See the discussion in V. Ostrom, The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration (University of Alabama Press, 1973), chapter 3, pp. 114–22.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Mishan, Cost-Benefit Analysis, pp. 68, 309–10, 323–4. R. Layard, Cost-Benefit Analysis (London, 1972) p. 37.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Self 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Self
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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