Hans GersbachSep 3, 2021
More Ideas for Better Rules
For three decades, Hans Gersbach has been using economic analysis and tools to explain and improve political behaviour.
His academic career began just as history was supposed to be ending with the victory of liberal democracy. Today, as a string of books argue – most recently Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum (Penguin, 2020) and Our Own Worst Enemy by Tom Nichols (OUP USA, 2021) – things look rather different.
Gersbach’s mission to optimise democracy and reduce the disenchantment that feeds extremism has never been more salient.
His Redesigning Democracy: More Ideas for Better Rules (Springer, 2017) may be four years old but he has continued publishing papers developing the book’s ideas on political contracts, re-election thresholds, optimal term lengths, pendular voting, "Catenarian" fiscal discipline, and even incentive pay for policymakers. Another book is only a matter of time.
Hans Gersbach holds the Chair of Macroeconomics, Innovation and Policy at ETH Zurich and previously taught at Heidelberg and Basel.
*The author's own book recommendations are Voting Procedures Under a Restricted Domain: An Examination of the (In)Vulnerability of 20 Voting Procedures to Five Main Paradoxes by Dan Felsenthal and Hannu Nurmi (SpringerBriefs in Economics, 2019), and A Beautiful Mind: A Biography of John Forbes Nash, Jr. by Sylvia Nasar (Simon & Schuster, 1998).
Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley advisors (a division of Energy Aspects).