In his 1929 paper entitled “Stability in Competition,” Harold Hotelling suggested that political candidates’ platforms seem to converge during majoritarian elections. Hotelling compared political elections to businesses in the private sector. He postulated that just as there is not a striking difference between salesmen's products, so, too, there is not a stark contrast between politicians' platforms. This is because politicians, just like salesmen with consumers, seek to capture the majority of voters. Duncan Black, in his 1948 paper titled “On the Rationale of Group Decision-making,” a work on majority voting, made the theorem and its assumptions explicit. Black wrote that he saw a large gap in economic theory concerning how voting determines the outcome of decisions, including political decisions. Black’s paper thus began the long line of research that was to follow on how economics can explain voting systems.
Party affiliation: Democratic Party