Economic Methods in Positive Political Theory

David Austen-Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article focuses on economic methods in political science, specifically on positive political theory. It provides a sketch of the two canonical approaches to developing a positive political theory: collective preference theory and game theory. It is argued that these two techniques are distinguished by their trade-offs, despite having some clear formal differences. The article also considers other specific techniques within the game-theoretic approach, which are designed to accommodate two important analytical characteristics that are distinctive to political science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Political Economy
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577437
ISBN (Print)9780199548477
StatePublished - Jun 19 2008


  • Analytical characteristics
  • Canonical approaches
  • Collective preference theory
  • Economic methods
  • Game theory
  • Game-theoretic approach
  • Positive political theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Economic Methods in Positive Political Theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this