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By Kenneth A. Shepsle

Interpreting Politics makes the basics of rational-choice conception available to undergraduates in transparent, nontechnical language.
Through case experiences, illustrations, and examples, the writer offers scholars with the ability to investigate a wide selection of occasions. the second one version has been completely revised to incorporate up-to-date situations and examples, new challenge units and dialogue questions, and new “Experimental Corner” sections on the finish of many chapters, describing experiments from social technology literature.

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

Example text

Finally, investors are providers of capital. 1 Objective Actor Endowment consumers budget contentment producers inputs profits workers time purchasing power/leisure investors wealth long-run return an eye on the overall long-term financial return. 1. Now* there is surely ambiguity in each of these ideas, but it is fair to say that economists, in one fashion or another, firmly commit themselves to what it is that animates vari ous economic actors. 1 is one very simple set of as sumptions—are verifiable as descriptive statements.

Letting "the" majority rule is not unambiguous and, as we shall see, can get you into trouble. Third, we have interpreted the taking of a vote here as having each individual reveal his or her preference honestly. When confronted with a pair of alternatives, each group mem ber voted for the one that he or she ranked higher. This is known as sincere preference revelation. It is entirely possible, of course, for ah individual to vote contrary to preference, per haps because by doing so a person paradoxically makes out better than if he or she had voted sincerely.

Second, the indi vidual is our basic explanatory building block. Third, because we are interested in prediction and explanation rather than description, we characterize individuals in a very abbreviated form, namely in terms of their preferences and beliefs. Fourth, the individuals in our analysis are rational. This means that they act in accord with their preferences for final outcomes and their beliefs about the effectiveness of various actions available to them. The cause-and-effect relationships between actions and outcomes may be well defined (certainty), proba bilistic (risk), or only crudely known (uncertainty).

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