Form vs. Substance in Selection Through Competition: Elections, Markets, and Political Economy

Richard E. Wagner, Deema Yazigi
2013 Social Science Research Network  
Any competitive process selects among qualities possessed by the competitors, and with different processes selecting for different qualities. While the competitive form is universal, the substantive qualities that are selected depend on the particular environment within which competition occurs. With respect to athletic competition, for instance, diving selects for different qualities than swimming: a champion diver need not be a champion swimmer. Markets and politics are both forms of
more » ... h forms of competitive endeavor, and it is reasonable to think that competition will select for excellence within each environment. This purely formal property of competition, however, generates different substantive qualities across environments, as we explore in this paper. JEL Codes: B52, D23, D83, L33, P26
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2206697 fatcat:3humfyqwnrcfpigqbpcvz2fzqe