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Pathologies of Rational Choice by Green and Shapiro - Research Paper Example

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The paper “Pathologies of Rational Choice by Green and Shapiro” looks at the Pathologies of rational choice theory, where Green and Shapiro have argued that the rational choice theory has limited empirical outputs. They contend that applicable literature was one with weak statistical methods…
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Download file to see previous pages When these methods are corrected most of the empirical outcomes no longer hold true. Green and Shapiro claim that rational choice theory provides little understanding of overall political interactions . The writers claim that there are methodological defects in the rational choice 2) According to Green and Shapiro (reading #7) how scientific is rational choice theory?  Green and Shapiro have stated that rational choice theory is theory-driven rather than problem driven. There is a discrepancy between the faith placed in the rational choice theory by its practitioners and the failure of the theory to deliver empirical results. This raises questions on the rational choice theory as a scientific enterprise. The weakness of the rational choice theory has been an attempt by the theorists to come up with universal theories of politics. There is little attention paid to the fact as to how these theories may be put into operation. This is the reason that Green and Shapiro have declared it as an unscientific theory in which no empirical proof is available and only theoretical statements have been provided. 3) What conclusions do Green and Shapiro (reading #7) drawn regarding the value of  rational choice theory? Although Green and Shapiro have been extremely critical of the rational choice theory but in their book they have found limited faults with the theory itself. They have mainly criticized the theorists who have been associated with the theory. The book says that rational choice theory can be extremely useful if further work is done on it. They have also accepted the theoretical frameworks which have been provided by the rational choice theory. The only problem lies in putting to practice of these theoretical frameworks. 4) In his discussion of Anthony Downs’ An Economic Theory of Democracy what does  Bryan Jones (reading #10) regard as “a major addition to our understanding of rational  Choice”?  The major contribution of Anthony Down’s “An economic theory of democracy” has been to introduce the notion that search behavior is subject to a rational calculus. The more valuable is the outcome of a decision; the more search is one likely to perform. In case o flow information; a rational person will use shortcuts such as ideology or party identification. The addition of cost of search function along with understanding the role of risk and uncertainty are the major additions to the understanding of rational choice theory. 5) In your reading #11 on incrementalism, describe how Lindblom-Wildavsky’s model  of incrementalism has succeeded and how in the eyes of some theorists it has failed.  The theory of incrementalism has been declared by many critics in the sense that most policy decisions are incremental. These decisions are not re-examined every year against all the possible alternatives. More importantly even the critics of incremental theory have not represented a model of return to rational, comprehensive decision making which was strongly rejected by Lindblom and Wildavsky. The theory also received a huge amount of criticism. John Wanat (1974) has argued that budget result could be accounted for by mandatory budget increases and there was no need to refer to constraints on individual decision making for this purpose. The theory of incrementalism was characterized by considerable rift as the concept was put into operation in different ways by different authors.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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