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Mause I 65
Political Parties/Downs: Downs mathematically models the actions of rational voters and rational parties and in this way comes to two central insights: Rational parties primarily pursue the interest of coming to power. To this end, they organise their party programme in such a way that it appeals to as many citizens as possible.(1) Empirically, in a unimodal (one-summit) distribution of political preferences in the one-dimensional political space, this leads to the parties moving programmatically to the middle (i.e. to the summit of unimodal distribution) and thus programmatic differences gradually disappear. It is rational for voters not to vote, since the cost of obtaining information or the general opportunity cost of voting with a sufficiently large electorate is higher than the probability of decisively influencing the election with one's own vote. This phenomenon has been called a paradox of voting since Downs, and part of the academic literature of the rational choice paradigm still addresses this problem today (Aldrich 1993 (2) Dowding 2005 (3); Geys 2006 (4)).



1. A. Downs, An economic theory of democracy. New York 1957; [dt. Ökonomische Theorie der Demokratie. Tübingen 1968.
2. Aldrich, John H., Rational-choice and turnout. American Journal of Political Science 37, 1993, S. 246– 278.
3. Dowding, Keith. Is it rational to vote? Five types of explanations and a suggestion. British Journal of Politics & International Relations 7 2005., S. 442– 459.
4. Geys, Benny, Rational theories of voter turnout: A review. Political Studies Review 4, 2006. , S.16– 35.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

EconDowns I
Anthony Downs
An economic theory of democracy New York 1957

Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-04-25
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