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Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics

  • Niclas Berggren

    ()

This study analyzes leading research in behavioral economics to see whether it contains advocacy of paternalism and whether it addresses the potential cognitive limitations and biases of the policymakers who are going to implement paternalist policies. The findings reveal that 20.7% of the studied articles in behavioral economics propose paternalist policy action and that 95.5% of these do not contain any analysis of the cognitive ability of policymakers. This suggests that behavioral political economy, in which the analytical tools of behavioral economics are applied to political decision-makers as well, would offer a useful extension of the research program. Such an extension could be related to the concept of robust political economy, according to which the case for paternalism should be subjected to “worst-case” assumptions, such as policymakers being less than fully rational. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11138-011-0159-z
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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Review of Austrian Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 199-221

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Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:25:y:2012:i:3:p:199-221
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100335

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  1. Berg, Nathan & Gigerenzer, Gerd, 2010. "As-if behavioral economics: Neoclassical economics in disguise?," MPRA Paper 26586, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  9. Peter Boettke & Christopher Coyne & Peter Leeson, 2007. "Saving government failure theory from itself: recasting political economy from an Austrian perspective," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 127-143, June.
  10. John List & Steven Levitt, 2008. "Homo economicus evolves," Artefactual Field Experiments 00095, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. Peter Leeson & J. Subrick, 2006. "Robust political economy," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 107-111, June.
  12. Scott Beaulier & J. Subrick, 2006. "Poverty traps and the robust political economy of development assistance," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 217-226, June.
  13. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2002. "Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan," NBER Working Papers 8920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Krishna, V. & Morgan, J., 1999. "A Model of Expertise," Papers 206, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  15. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
  16. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  17. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  18. Klein, Daniel B., 1994. "If Government is so Villainous, How come Government Officials don't seem like Villains?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 91-106, April.
  19. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
  20. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1346-1366, December.
  21. Edward L. Glaeser, 2004. "Psychology and the Market," NBER Working Papers 10203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. James M. Buchanan, 1949. "The Pure Theory of Government Finance: A Suggested Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57, pages 496.
  23. Stefan Voigt, 2006. "Robust political economy: The case of antitrust," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 203-215, June.
  24. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
  25. Peter Diamond & Hannu Vartiainen, 2007. "Introduction to Behavioral Economics and Its Applications
    [Behavioral Economics and Its Applications]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  26. Nava Ashraf & Colin F. Camerer & George Loewenstein, 2005. "Adam Smith, Behavioral Economist," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 131-145, Summer.
  27. Meglena Jeleva & Stephane Rossignol, 2009. "Political decision of risk reduction: the role of trust," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 83-104, April.
  28. repec:feb:artefa:0095 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Richard N. Langlois, 1985. "Knowledge and Rationality in the Austrian School: An Analytical Survey," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 309-330, Oct-Dec.
  30. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
  31. Glaeser, Edward L., 2006. "Paternalism and Psychology," Working Paper Series rwp06-006, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  32. Levy, David M, 2002. " Robust Institutions," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2-3), pages 131-42, June.
  33. Randall Holcombe, 2009. "The behavioral foundations of Austrian economics," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 301-313, December.
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