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Economic Behavior in Political Context

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  • Larry M. Bartels
  • Henry E. Brady
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    Abstract

    Inviting political scientists to tell economists how they could do better work is an act of disciplinary generosity. The reality is that contemporary political science is a net importer of ideas and methods from other disciplines, and from none more than economics. Indeed, some of the most exciting research in political science in the past 40 years has involved the incorporation of ideas from economics. We have neither the space nor the mandate to summarize that research here, but refer interested readers to Gary J. Miller's (1997) extensive review. Our aim here is to offertwo modest case studies of specific instances of overlap between the interests and research efforts of economists and political scientists. Our first case study focuses on describing and explaining participation in the workforce, the polity, and many other social activities and organizations. Our second case study focuses on the impact of political processes and institutions on macroeconomic policies and performance. In both these instances the work of economists has been quite fruitful—but also, we think, hampered by a characteristic overreliance on standard economic models and methods. However, in both areas, recent developments may point the way toward a more constructive research style combining the theoretical and empirical rigor of economics with a broader and more eclectic approach familiar to political scientists.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282803321946976
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 156-161

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:2:p:156-161

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803321946976
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    References

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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
    2. Azzi, Corry & Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1975. "Household Allocation of Time and Church Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 27-56, February.
    3. Martin J. Osborne, 1995. "Spatial Models of Political Competition under Plurality Rule: A Survey of Some Explanations of the Number of Candidates and the Positions They Take," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 261-301, May.
    4. Gary J. Miller, 1997. "The Impact of Economics on Contemporary Political Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1173-1204, September.
    5. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
    6. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Unemployment through the Filter of Memory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 747-73, August.
    7. Anne E. Polivka, 1996. "Data Watch: The Redesigned Current Population Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 169-180, Summer.
    8. Reuben Gronau & R. Layard, . "Home Production - A Survey," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-2, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    9. Montgomery, James D, 1996. "Contemplations on the Economic Approach to Religious Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 443-47, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hongbin Li & Lingsheng Meng & Junsen Zhang, 2005. "Why Do Entrepreneurs Enter Politics?," Discussion Papers 00009, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
    2. Gehlbach, Scott & Sonin, Konstantin & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2006. "Businessman Candidates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Cassette, Aurélie & Farvaque, Etienne & Héricourt, Jérôme, 2011. "Two-round elections, one-round determinants? Evidence from the French municipal elections," MPRA Paper 34675, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Polsiri, Piruna & Jiraporn, Pornsit, 2012. "Political connections, ownership structure, and financial institution failure," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 39-53.
    5. J. Stephen Ferris & Stanley L. Winer, 2006. "Politics, political competition and the political budget cycle in Canada, 1870 - 2000: a search across alternative fiscal instruments," Carleton Economic Papers 06-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    6. J Stephen Ferris & Soo-Bin Park & Stanley L. Winer, 2006. "Political Competition and Convergence to Fundamentals: With Application to the Political Business Cycle and the Size of Government," CESifo Working Paper Series 1646, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. J. Stephen Ferris & Soo-Bin Park & Stanley L. Winer, 2005. "Political Competition and Convergence to Fundamentals: With Application to the Politcal Business Cycle and the Size of the Public Sector," Carleton Economic Papers 05-09, Carleton University, Department of Economics.

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