Joseph Schumpeter Lecture Ideology
AbstractI develop a model of ideologies as collectively sustained (yet individually rational) distortions in beliefs concerning the proper scope of governments versus markets. In processing and interpreting signals of the efficacy of public and market provision of education, health insurance, pensions, etc., individuals optimally trade off the value of remaining hopeful about their future prospects (or their children's) versus the costs of misinformed decisions. Because these future outcomes also depend on whether other citizens respond to unpleasant facts with realism or denial, endogenous social cognitions emerge. Thus, an equilibrium in which people acknowledge the limitations of interventionism coexists with one in which they remain obstinately blind to them, embracing a statist ideology and voting for an excessively large government. Conversely, an equilibrium associated with appropriate public responses to market failures coexists with one dominated by a laissez-faire ideology and blind faith in the invisible hand. With public-sector capital, this interplay of beliefs and institutions leads to history-dependent dynamics. The model also explains why societies find it desirable to set up constitutional protections for dissenting views, even when ex-post everyone would prefer to ignore unwelcome news. (JEL: H11, D72, D83, P16, Z1) (c) 2008 by the European Economic Association.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.
Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/jeea
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
- Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Di Tella, Rafael & Galiani, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2012.
"Reality versus propaganda in the formation of beliefs about privatization,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 553-567.
- Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2008. "Reality versus Propaganda in the Formation of Beliefs about Privatization," NBER Working Papers 14483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Tax contracts, party bargaining, and government formation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 173-192.
- Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012.
"Tax contracts and elections,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1461-1479.
- Hans Gersbach & Maik T. Schneider, 2009. "Tax Contracts and Elections," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/123, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
- Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik, 2012. "Tax Contracts and Elections," CEPR Discussion Papers 9054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.