Are Politicians Vote‐Maximizers?

Leif Lewin

in Self-Interest and Public Interest in Western Politics

Published in print April 1991 | ISBN: 9780198277255
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599774 | DOI:

Series: Comparative European Politics

 Are Politicians Vote‐Maximizers?

Show Summary Details


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

Chapter.  6127 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.