In a classic model of Downsian competition, the size of government is determined by the median voter. This essay asserts that because the perception of the median voter on his own chances and prospects in life is omitted (for instance in terms labor market opportunities), the classic model leaves out important information on voter’s behavior. That could lead to unexpected outcomes in which people seemingly vote against their own economic self-interest. By taking Adam Smith’s Theory of Sympathy as a proxy for perception, we propose a revised model which aims to bridge this divide and targets to be a thought experiment for further research on the impact of perception on the size of government.
How to Cite:
Cramer, D., 2012. The Impact of Perception on Redistribution. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 1(1), pp.33–41.