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The influence of economics on political science: by what pathway?


  • Lee Sigelman
  • Robert Goldfarb


The influence of economics, the most imperialistic of the social science disciplines, is widely thought to have been felt more decisively in political science than in any other discipline. After briefly reviewing some evidence that this alleged influence is not transmitted through the use of specific economics concepts, this paper explores the possibility that the influence instead stems from the importation of formal rational choice modeling techniques from economics into political science. This is carried out using a case study of an important political science literature on voting behavior and the voter turnout puzzle. The analysis produces what seems compelling evidence for the importation of economics-oriented analytical methods into the political science literature on voting.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee Sigelman & Robert Goldfarb, 2012. "The influence of economics on political science: by what pathway?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 1-19, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:19:y:2012:i:1:p:1-19
    DOI: 10.1080/1350178X.2012.661067

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