Utilities, Preferences and Choice

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Kroh, Martin and Eijk, Cees van der (2003) Utilities, Preferences and Choice. In: joint sessions of workshops of the ECPR in Edinburgh, March 2003, March 2003, Edinburgh.

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Abstract:In this paper we argue that theories of party choice are implicitly not about choice, but about
electoral preferences or utilities. This distinction is not trivial, as individual choice can be
deduced from individual preferences or utilities, whereas the reverse is not necessarily true. In
spite of this, a large part of empirical electoral research is (implicitly) based on the analysis of
‘revealed’ preferences, i.e. preferences that have been deduced from choice by using
interpersonal comparison to make up the informational deficit at the individual level. We
argue that the risks of this approach can be avoided by an alternative approach, that entails the
empirical observation of electoral utility. A practical procedure for doing so is presented, and
some validating analyses are reported.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/61249
Official URL:http://www.essex.ac.uk/ecpr/events/jointsessions/paperarchive/edinburgh/ws26/KrohVanderEijk.pdf
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