Article

Economic Methods in Positive Political Theory

David Austen-Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548477
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577437 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199548477.003.0050

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science


Economic Methods in Positive Political Theory

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This article focuses on economic methods in political science, specifically on positive political theory. It provides a sketch of the two canonical approaches to developing a positive political theory: collective preference theory and game theory. It is argued that these two techniques are distinguished by their trade-offs, despite having some clear formal differences. The article also considers other specific techniques within the game-theoretic approach, which are designed to accommodate two important analytical characteristics that are distinctive to political science.

Keywords: economic methods; positive political theory; canonical approaches; collective preference theory; game theory; game-theoretic approach; analytical characteristics

Article.  7895 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy ; Comparative Politics

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