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By Sabine Lessmann, Rudolf Wildenmann

ISBN-10: 3110109433

ISBN-13: 9783110109436

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But according to Castles, 'the focus on demonstrating whether or not politics matters obscured the need to examine a variety of causal sequences by which socio-economic and political factors might interact to determine expenditure patterns' Trying to go beyond the simple dichotomies of the 'politics matters' debate, he concludes f r o m his analysis of the pattern of public expenditure that partisan control of government is a major determinant of policy outputs : 'What it does seem to imply is that the ideological preferences for greater or less state activity or greater or less welfare have a directing impact on the policies that parties pursue' Interesting studies which go into the influence of politics on government activity in Germany are those of Schmidt (1978, 1980) and Treiber (1980), which show that differences in the formation of government can be seen in policy outputs.

In summary, of the studies presented here, Kramer (1971), Stigler (1973), Arcelus and Meitzer (1975), and Bloom and Price (1975) did not find that unemployment had important effects on election outcomes, while Goodman and Kramer (1975), Frey and Schneider (1978, 1980), and Schneider (1978) found unemployment rates to have significant effects. g. the models of Nordhaus (1975) and MacRae (1977)) find mixed support within the econometric studies themselves. The best way to f u r t h e r clarify the question of the robustness of vote or popularity functions might be to look at the results in other countries.

This is the only way for research and theory formation to come to terms with the multitude and complexity of available data. The logic of the research process has lead to specialization and differentiation of research fields which attempt to analyse from different aspects the same object of inquiry. In other words, empirical and normative approaches are characterized by a high degree of variation in order to contribute to a cumulative growth of knowledge and meaningful general explanations. With respect to research into parties and party competition, that process of differentiation has lead to the adoption of a paradigmatic way of thinking which will be used in this study: the intentional action paradigm or more precisely the rational choice approach, which is the main development of the intentional action paradigm.

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Budgetary Politics and Elections: An Investigation of Public Expenditures in West Germany by Sabine Lessmann, Rudolf Wildenmann


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