Behavioral Economics and Political Economy
The past and future impact of behavioral economics in the field of political economy is assessed. It is argued that politician leaders operate in an intensely competition environment where the framework of rational choice is compelling. In contrast, rational choice is less compelling when studying the behavior of voters in mass elections where the consequences of each individual’s choices are negligible. A discussion of the literature on why voters bother to vote and on the choices voters make when casting their ballots illustrates the limits of explanations based on rational decision-makers and the potential contribution of behavioral research to the study of political economy.
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