I've been looking for resources which analyze the various political platforms using mathematical models. For example, the idea of "democratic socialism" seems to be based on a model of wealth redistribution where everyone gets an equal say in where government income comes from and how it's spent. In theory, this model takes money from the rich and gives to the poor because there are fewer rich people voting in their own interest than poor people.

The Republican platform seems to advocate for a business model, where those who use a service are the ones who pay for it. In this model, public schools are paid for by people in that school's district, and roads are paid for based on vehicle weight tax, etc..

Are there any resources where this sort of modeling is done and compared in detail?

  • I will come back for aan answer later, but in political science this is called "formal theory". It isn't particularly common, but it does exist. – indigochild Dec 17 '17 at 0:59
  • Thanks. You've at least given me a place to start looking on my own for now. – BlackEyedGhost Dec 17 '17 at 21:15
  • Consider rephrasing *"...this model takes money from the rich and gives to the poor...", which needlessly presumes switching from a pre-existing system. Yet mathematically we might as easily consider any given system to be a first government of some economically homogeneous population, rather than an economically heterogeneous and polarized population. – agc Jan 6 '20 at 5:58

You may want to look into mechanism design. The name may sound confusing (it's not about mechanics), ultimately it's about how to design a set of rules (a mechanism) so that rational actors would act in accordance with your objective.

As a field at the intersection of economics and game theory, it has several formal results (theorems), which often state what is impossible.

Be warned that application and interpretation are still subjective, even if the field itself is objective.

Also note that the question of how to enforce the rules is left outside the model - and enforcement is not free, and may be seen as unethical.

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