Members of German Federal Parliament More Risk-Loving than General Population
14 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2013
Date Written: March 2013
The article analyzes the question of whether career politicians differ systematically from the general population in terms of their attitudes toward risk. A written survey of members of the 17th German Bundestag in late 2011 identified their risk attitudes, and the survey data was set in relation to respondents to the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) for the survey year 2009 (2002 through 2012). Compared with the population surveyed in the SOEP, members of the German parliament display a considerably higher general risk appetite, which is highly significant. For different areas of risk, last surveyed in the SOEP in 2009, the members of parliament had significantly stronger risk-loving attitudes across virtually all indicators and risk categories surveyed than the comparison groups of SOEP respondents.
Keywords: political decision-making, risk aversion, German parliament, SOEP
JEL Classification: D71, D78, H11, H70, P16, Z13
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