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Essentials of Fiscal Sociology

Conception of an Encyclopedia


Edited By Jürgen G. Backhaus

The issue whether fiscal sociology is ripe for an encyclopedia is the hidden agenda of this project. The authors are international experts from the old and the new world, from Italy to Estonia, the Netherlands to Russia, and of course, the United States. The essays cover both, the history of fiscal sociology and recent and future issues, such as the making of the Estonian constitution, which emphasizes fiscal austerity, and the emerging European constitution.


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In Search of the Laws of Access and Survival of the Members of the Italian Parliament in Relation to their Party Affiliation (1946-2011) Silvia Fedeli and Francesco Forte


Abstract Drawing on Schumpeter and public choice theories on the political entrepreneurs and on the socio- logical theories of the political class as elites, we focus on the laws of access and survival of the members of the Italian parliament, from the beginning of the Republic to present period, in relations with their affiliation to the various political parties that differ for the sociological composition, the size, the political collocation, the organizational structure. Keywords: Political enterprise, political class, survival analysis, Italian Parliament. 1. Introduction The paradigm according to which the demand and the supply of politicians mimic the labour market paradigm appears a very partial and limited expla- nation of the phenomenon, even if we consider the candidates as individual suppliers of labour. The assumption that they are merely attracted by the wage they shall get for serving the electors appears too naïve. Besides what has been observed about the rent seeking as a negative sum game and the positive sum games that may therefore emerge in the political competition, as James Buchanan argues, politicians, like everyone else, if not constrained, tend to follow their own motivations, but these are not necessarily those of a narrow utilitarian homo oeconomicus paradigm. They may be different. While it is naïve to assume that they necessarily coincide with the interests (and values) of the generality of the electorate,1 whatever this means, members of the parlia- ment may be attracted by the prestige and reputation that they can get, by the...

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