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Behavioral Political Economy: A Survey

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  • Jan Schnellenbach
  • Christian Schubert

Abstract

Explaining individual behavior in politics should rely on the same motivational assumptions as explaining behavior in the market: That’s what Political Economy, understood as the application of economics to the study of political processes, is all about. In its standard variant, those who played the game of politics should also be considered rational and self-interested, unlike the benevolent despot of earlier models. History repeats itself with the rise of behavioral economics: Assuming cognitive biases to be present in the market, but not in politics, behavioral economists often call for government to intervene in a “benevolent” way. Recently, however, political economists have started to apply behavioral economics insights to the study of political processes, thereby re-establishing a unified methodology. This paper surveys the current state of the emerging field of “Behavioral Political Economy” and considers the scope for further research.

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  • Jan Schnellenbach & Christian Schubert, 2014. "Behavioral Political Economy: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 4988, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4988
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    Cited by:

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    2. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    3. Kuehnhanss, Colin R. & Heyndels, Bruno & Hilken, Katharina, 2015. "Choice in politics: Equivalency framing in economic policy decisions and the influence of expertise," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 360-374.
    4. Pavlova, Natalia (Павлова, Наталья) & Shastitko, Anastasia (Шаститко, Анастасия), 2017. "Behavioral Aspects of the Regulator's Actions [Поведенческие Аспекты Действий Регулятора]," Working Papers 051714, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    behavioral political economy; behavioral economics; rational irrationality; cognitive biases; social norms; voting; paternalism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • 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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