Members of German Federal Parliament More Risk-Loving Than General Population
AbstractPolitics and business often involve making risky or dangerous decisions whose outcomes can be predicted only with difficulty, if at all. As attitudes toward risks and dangers vary between individuals, it is reasonable that people with different attitudes are active in areas requiring decisions with differing degrees of risk. For example, it has frequently been observed that entrepreneurs are more risk-loving than employees. In late 2011, we surveyed members of the German Bundestag (federal parliament) as to their attitude toward risk (and danger or uncertainty), revealing that they are far more risk-loving than average people; they are even significantly more risk-loving than the self-employed.1 It is possible to take a critical view of the fact that politicians are prepared to assume higher risks than the general population normally would. In this respect, politicians do not represent the population. Yet, we interpret this finding in a positive manner, as a socially rational "division of labor" between citizens, voters, and politicians in the context of a representative democracy whose institutions limit risk-seeking and power.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal DIW Economic Bulletin.
Volume (Year): 3 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
political decision-making; risk aversion; German parliament; SOEP;
Other versions of this item:
- Moritz Heß & Christian von Scheve & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2013. "Members of German Federal Parliament More Risk-Loving than General Population," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 546, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
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- Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Chmura, Thorsten & Martinsson, Peter, 2012. "Risk attitudes, development, and growth: Macroeconomic evidence from experiments in 30 countries," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2012-401, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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