IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sce/scecf4/28.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public Opinion Formation in Policy Issues. An evolutionary approach

Author

Listed:
  • F. Fatas-Villafranca

Abstract

We seek to shed new light on the social process of political opinion formation from an evolutionary perspective.We propose a model in which heterogeneous citizens collectively learn and modify their opinions about the most convenient size of public expenditure for the economy. In Section 1, we argue that approaching political processes from an evolutionary perspective may overcome certain theoretical shortcomings in public choice theory and in evolutionary economics. In Section 2, we claim that several features should be considered by an evolutionary approach to political processes: bounded rationality and heterogeneity on the part of agents,normative learning as a socially contingent process, and public opinion formation as an emergent social property. We devote Section 3 to propose a model based on section 2. The dynamic analysis in Section 4 reveals the existence of two regimes characterized by different dynamics for public opinion. Depending on the parametric values, either public opinion displays persistence and ongoing endogenous transformation in a more or less complex way, or it stabilizes in a rather homogenous state of opinion. Section 5 discusses to what extent the range of political opinions supported in a society may influence the complexity of the political process, affecting the time evolution of public expenditure which can turn into a chaotic regime, generating erratic dynamics of the public opinion evolution. Finally we present some conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Fatas-Villafranca, 2004. "Public Opinion Formation in Policy Issues. An evolutionary approach," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 28, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf4:28
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.org/sce2004/up.9289.1075915350.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Schumpeter and the revival of evolutionary economics: an appraisal of the literature," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 125-159, April.
    2. Mueller, Dennis C, 1976. "Public Choice: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 395-433, June.
    3. Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political economy; evolutionary economics; collective learning; replicator dynamics; chaotic dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sce:scecf4:28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sceeeea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.