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Social Contract, public choice and fiscal repercussions in Athenian Democracy

Kyriazis, Nicholas and Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros and Zachilas, Loukas (2012): Social Contract, public choice and fiscal repercussions in Athenian Democracy.

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Abstract

In the present essay, by utilizing game theory we present a model of choice by actors to explain how change comes about. Then by using ancient and modern sources of literature, we analyse the theory of the social contract as a historical phenomenon that first appeared during the classical period of Athens (510-323 BC.). Then we utilize our findings to explain how public choice was practiced under a direct democracy regime in ancient Athens, by focusing on two historical cases: Eubulus and Lycurgus fiscal policy programs in the second half of the 4th century. We found that these policies can be explained as an implementation of a social contract, through which the Athenian citizens were taking decisions based on rational choice according to a wider economic prospective.

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