Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics

Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics This study analyzes leading research in behavioral economics to see whether it contains advocacy of paternalism and whether it addresses the potential cognitive limitations and biases of the policymakers who are going to implement paternalist policies. The findings reveal that 20.7% of the studied articles in behavioral economics propose paternalist policy action and that 95.5% of these do not contain any analysis of the cognitive ability of policymakers. This suggests that behavioral political economy, in which the analytical tools of behavioral economics are applied to political decision-makers as well, would offer a useful extension of the research program. Such an extension could be related to the concept of robust political economy, according to which the case for paternalism should be subjected to “worst-case” assumptions, such as policymakers being less than fully rational. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Time for behavioral political economy? An analysis of articles in behavioral economics

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-011-0159-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study analyzes leading research in behavioral economics to see whether it contains advocacy of paternalism and whether it addresses the potential cognitive limitations and biases of the policymakers who are going to implement paternalist policies. The findings reveal that 20.7% of the studied articles in behavioral economics propose paternalist policy action and that 95.5% of these do not contain any analysis of the cognitive ability of policymakers. This suggests that behavioral political economy, in which the analytical tools of behavioral economics are applied to political decision-makers as well, would offer a useful extension of the research program. Such an extension could be related to the concept of robust political economy, according to which the case for paternalism should be subjected to “worst-case” assumptions, such as policymakers being less than fully rational.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 29, 2011

References

  • Adam Smith, behavioral economist
    Ashraf, N; Camerer, C; Lowenstein, G
  • Poverty traps and the robust political economy of development assistance
    Beaulier, SA; Subrick, JR

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