IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/102.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When Can Politicians Scare Citizens Into Supporting Bad Policies? A Theory of Incentives with Fear-Based Content

Author

Listed:
  • Lupia, Arthur
  • Menning, Jesse

Abstract

Analysts make competing claims about when and how politicians can use fear to gain support for suboptimal policies. Using a model, we clarify how common attributes of fear affect politicians’ abilities to achieve self-serving outcomes that are bad for voters. In it, a politician provides information about a threat. His statement need not be true. How citizens respond differs from most game-theoretic models – we proceed from more dynamic (and realistic) assumptions about how citizens think. Our conclusions counter popular claims about how easily politicians use fear to manipulate citizens, yield different policy advice than does recent scholarship on counterterrorism, and highlight issues (abstract, distant) and leaders (secretive) for which recent findings by political psychologists and public opinion scholars will – and will not – generalize.

Suggested Citation

  • Lupia, Arthur & Menning, Jesse, 2005. "When Can Politicians Scare Citizens Into Supporting Bad Policies? A Theory of Incentives with Fear-Based Content," MPRA Paper 102, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 11 Sep 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:102
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/102/1/MPRA_paper_102.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1028/1/MPRA_paper_1028.pdf
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/1048/1/MPRA_paper_1048.pdf
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:01:p:1-15_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    emotions; behavioral economics; game theory; political science; incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.