Saturday, May 21, 2011

Representin' Public Choice


Why Muslims like democracy yet have so little of it

Robbert Maseland & André van Hoorn
Public Choice, June 2011, Pages 481-496

Abstract: This paper explains the observed combination of relatively low levels of
democracy and positive attitudes towards it in the Muslim world. It argues that this democracy paradox is understandable from the perspective of the principle of diminishing marginal utility: people value highly that of which they have little. This reasoning implies, however, that surveys like the World Values Surveys (WVS) elicit circumstance-driven marginal preferences rather than culturally determined attitudinal traits. Empirical evidence showing that individuals living in undemocratic societies have much more favorable inclinations towards democracy supports our argument.

(Nod to Kevin Lewis)

Public Choice, fool. You better recognize.

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