The Conflict About the Middle of the Road: The Austrians Versus Public Choice

The Dynamics of Intervention: Regulation and Redistribution in the Mixed Economy

ISBN: 978-0-76231-053-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-237-5

ISSN: 1529-2134

Publication date: 1 January 2004

Abstract

This paper is about something which, at least superficially, looks like a conflict between public choice theory and Austrian social science, in particular as represented by Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. What I am referring to is the conflict between the so-called Median Voter Theorem, on the one hand, and the Austrian contention that there is no “middle way”, on the other. The Median Voter Theorem, as the reader knows, is often formulated within the framework of a left-right continuum, and it says that the decision taken will correspond to the position of the median voter. Thus, if the voters are distributed in a roughly symmetrical way along the left-right continuum, the decision will be a position somewhere close to the middle of the scale. The Austrians, on the contrary, claim that there is no such thing as a middle of the road outcome. Only socialism and liberalism are real alternatives.

Citation

Moberg, E. (2004), "The Conflict About the Middle of the Road: The Austrians Versus Public Choice", Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (Ed.) The Dynamics of Intervention: Regulation and Redistribution in the Mixed Economy (Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 205-222. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1529-2134(05)08008-7

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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