Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Behavioral Political Economy: A Survey

56 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2014  

Jan Schnellenbach

BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Institute for Economics, Chair for Microeconomics; Walter Eucken Institute

Christian Schubert

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 30, 2014

Abstract

Explaining individual behavior in politics should rely on the same motivational assumptions as explaining behavior in the market: That’s what Political Economy, understood as the application of economics to the study of political processes, is all about. In its standard variant, those who played the game of politics should also be considered rational and self-interested, unlike the benevolent despot of earlier models. History repeats itself with the rise of behavioral economics: Assuming cognitive biases to be present in the market, but not in politics, behavioral economists often call for government to intervene in a “benevolent” way. Recently, however, political economists have started to apply behavioral economics insights to the study of political processes, thereby re-establishing a unified methodology. This paper surveys the current state of the emerging field of “Behavioral Political Economy” and considers the scope for further research.

Keywords: behavioral political economy, behavioral economics, rational irrationality, cognitive biases, social norms, voting, paternalism

JEL Classification: D780, D030, A120, D720

Suggested Citation

Schnellenbach, Jan and Schubert, Christian, Behavioral Political Economy: A Survey (September 30, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4988. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2507739

Jan Schnellenbach

BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Institute for Economics, Chair for Microeconomics ( email )

Erich-Weinert-Str. 1
Cottbus, 03046
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.b-tu.de/fg-vwl-mikro/team/prof-dr-jan-schnellenbach

Walter Eucken Institute ( email )

Goethestr. 10
Freiburg, 79100
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.eucken.de

Christian Schubert (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,621
Rank
8,267
Abstract Views
7,147