Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • Pavel KucharEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7883-6_30-1


Consensus is a conventional source of justified beliefs. In modern democratic societies, rational consensus, formed by means of free and open discussion, is a criterion of political legitimacy.


Modern democracy as a form of government is a unique phenomenon, existing for only a short period of time in the history of our civilization. In this contribution, the role of consensus in directing the course of modern democracies is addressed. Public choice scholars have extensively studied the problem of amalgamating individual beliefs into aggregate social estimates for the purposes of legitimizing political authority. The aggregation of individual beliefs, however, is a specific example of a general question about the creation and use of knowledge. How does the process of consensus formation affect the accuracy and reliability of our knowledge? Without understanding how the division of labor brings together scientific communities and without understanding how these...


Expert Consensus Justify Belief Scientific Consensus Prediction Market Public Deliberation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Guanajuato, Department of Economics and FinanceDCEA-Campus Marfil, Fracc. IEl EstabloMexico