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Decision-making process: A series of steps that people take to make decisions, such as identifying the decision, gathering information, and evaluating alternatives.
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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Public Choice Theory on Decision-making Processes - Dictionary of Arguments

Parisi I 187
Decision-making/Public choice theory/Farber: 1) (…) if public policies can be disaggregated into separate dimensions, coherent decisions can be made along each dimension based on the views of the median voter. For instance, legislative committees can be understood as mechanisms for limiting decisions to a specific dimension of policy, so that majority voting can function coherently. It is even possible that packages of multiple policies can produce coherent outcomes, if everyone agrees on how to sort them out on an ideological scale and the disagreement is just about which ideological balance is preferred.
2) Control: (…) coherent outcomes are possible when one individual (or a coalition of like-minded individuals) has control. (Cf. >Arrow’s Theorem).
This concentration of control may be obvious, as in the sole power exercised by the President over elements of foreign policy. Or it may be more subtle. The very existence of voting cycles means that the person who controls the agenda can potentially control the outcome (Mueller, 2003(1), pp. 112-114). For instance, the Speaker of the House or a committee chair may be in a position to control the House's agenda and hence maintain coherent outcomes (Stearns and Zywicki, 2009(2), p. 135; Shepsle, 2010(3), pp. 451-457). In this setting, institutional features drive outcomes in a particularly powerful way, and as normative matter, draw into question any straightforward linkage between public preferences and legislative outcomes.
3) (…) coherent outcomes are also possible when the decision process involves the intensity of preferences about outcomes, rather than simply their ranking.
Preferences: Political institutions are nominally based on voting, which simply involves individual ranking of outcomes. But there are mechanisms for the intensity of preferences to play a role, such as bargaining between legislators, offers of electoral endorsements, committing time to drafting, and so forth (Mueller, 2003(1) , pp. 104-107).
Democracy/Farber: A democratic system that simply used majority voting without such an institutional framework would be capable of success only in the rare polity where voters agreed on a single metric for measuring all public policies and disagreed only about their ideal points on the scale. Thus, we can understand public law as a set of institutional structures to address otherwise intractable problems of group decision-making.


1. Mueller, D. C. (2003). Public Choice 111. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2. Stearns, M. L. and T. J. Zywicki (2009). Public Choice Concepts and Applications in Law. St.
Paul, MN: Thomas Reuters.
3. Shepsle, K. A. (2010). Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior, and Institutions. 2nd edition.
New York: W.W. Norton & co.


Farber, Daniel A. “Public Choice Theory and Legal Institutions”. In: Parisi, Francesco (ed) (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Vol 1: Methodology and Concepts. NY: Oxford University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Public Choice Theory
Parisi I
Francesco Parisi (Ed)
The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics: Volume 1: Methodology and Concepts New York 2017


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