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Behavioral Economics and Political Economy

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  • Michael Wallerstein

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Wallerstein, 2004. "Behavioral Economics and Political Economy," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 30, pages 37-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:noj:journl:v:30:y:2004:p:37-48
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    File URL: http://www.nopecjournal.org/NOPEC_2004_a04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    2. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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