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Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics$
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Leif Lewin

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198277255

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198277253.001.0001

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Are Politicians Vote‐Maximizers?

Are Politicians Vote‐Maximizers?

(p.60) 3 Are Politicians Vote‐Maximizers?
Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics

Leif Lewin (Contributor Webpage)

, Donald Lavery
Oxford University Press

According to the assumption of the public‐choice theory, politicians are guided by their self‐interest and vote maximization. By analysing studies based on theories of the political business cycle, Leif Lewin provides evidence of predominance of public interest over self‐interest in politics.

The author then proceeds to analyse the electoral strategies of European socialists supporting this argument. The facts presented clearly indicate that the image of the politicians as primarily vote‐maximizers has little empirical support.

Keywords:   electoral strategies, European socialists, pocketbook voting, political business cycle, public interest, public‐choice theory, self‐interest, vote maximization

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