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Emotions and Political Unrest

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  • Francesco Passarelli
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

This paper formulates a general theory of how political unrest influences public policy. Political unrest is motivated by emotions. Individuals engage in protests if they are aggrieved and feel that they have been treated unfairly. This reaction is predictable because individuals have a con sistent view of what is fair. This framework yields novel insights about the sources of political influence of different groups in society. Even if the government is benevolent and all groups have access to the same technology for political participation, equilibrium policy can be distorted. Individuals form their view of what is fair taking into account the current state of the world. If fewer aggregate resources are available, individuals accept a lower level of welfare. This resignation effect in turn induces a benevolent government to procrastinate unpleasant policy choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Passarelli & Guido Tabellini, 2013. "Emotions and Political Unrest," Working Papers 474, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:474
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Guimarães, Bernardo de Vasconcellos & Ladeira, Carlos Eduardo de Almeida, 2015. "The determinants of IMF fiscal conditionalities: economics or politics?," Textos para discussão 391, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
    2. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    3. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 2017. "Does the design of a fiscal rule matter for welfare?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 226-237.
    4. Toke Aidt & Gabriel Leon & Max Satchell, 2017. "The Social Dynamics of Collective Action: Evidence from the Captain Swing Riots, 1830-31," CESifo Working Paper Series 6773, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Belmonte, Alessandro & Di Lillo, Armando, 2018. "From Italianization to Germanization : Division of Labor, Economic Rents, and Anti-German Attitudes in South Tyrol," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 379, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    6. Carlo Altomonte & Gloria Gennaro & Francesco Passarelli, 2019. "Collective Emotions and Protest Vote," CESifo Working Paper Series 7463, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    8. Thomas Fujiwara & Carlos Sanz, 2017. "Norms in bargaining: evidence from government formation in Spain," Working Papers 1741, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    9. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2599 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Manuel Funke & Moritz Schularick & Christoph Trebesch, 2015. "Going to Extremes: Politics after Financial Crises, 1870-2014," CESifo Working Paper Series 5553, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Funke, Manuel & Schularick, Moritz & Trebesch, Christoph, 2016. "Going to extremes: Politics after financial crises, 1870–2014," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 227-260.
    12. Ingvild Almås & Alexander W. Cappelen & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "Cutthroat Capitalism versus Cuddly Socialism: Are Americans more Meritocratic and Efficiency-Seeking than Scandinavians?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6278, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Aidt, T. S. & Leon, G. & Satchell, M., 2017. "The Social Dynamics of Collective Action: Evidence from the Captain Swing Riots, 1830-31," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1751, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. van Winden, Frans, 2015. "Political economy with affect: On the role of emotions and relationships in political economics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 298-311.
    15. Zhu, Haikun, 2018. "Essays on political economy of finance and fintech," Other publications TiSEM 93f94423-e671-4041-bb24-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Camilo García-Jimeno & Angel Iglesias & Pinar Yildirim, 2018. "Women, Rails and Telegraphs: An Empirical Study of Information Diffusion and Collective Action," NBER Working Papers 24495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. repec:eee:jcecon:v:47:y:2019:i:1:p:50-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Ingvild Almås & Alexander W. Cappelen & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "Cutthroat Capitalism versus Cuddly Socialism: Are Americans more Meritocratic and Efficiency-Seeking than Scandinavians?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6278, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Federico Faveretto & Donato Masciandaro, 2018. "Financial Inequality, group entitlements and populism," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1892, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    20. Thomas Moutos & Lambros Pechlivanos, 2013. "The Democratization of Rent Seeking in Greece," CESifo Working Paper Series 4331, CESifo Group Munich.

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    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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