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Venice Summer Institute 2014

Behavioural Political Economy

Organisers: Arye L. Hillman, Urs Fischbacher and Heinrich Ursprung
Keynote Speaker: Charles R. Plott, California Institute of Technology, and Rebecca B. Morton, New York University
Date: 21 - 22 July 2014

Behavioural political economy uses behavioural concepts in explaining decisions of politicians, candidates for political office, voters, lobbyists, and others in the political and policymaking arena. Decision-makers may be subject to bounded rationality. Utility maximisation may be based on irrational beliefs. Included in behavioural political economy is an investigation of why people who are non-decisive vote, which leads into expressive voting whereby people vote based on self-declared identity. Populist policies offered by political candidates may be known by voters to be non-feasible but voters may still support them, and candidates may still advocate the policies. Political decision-makers may use framing to influence support for public policies. Voters may be influenced by attributions of blame for exogenous events such as the weather or by physical attributes of political candidates. Behavioural political economy can also involve irrational prejudice and discrimination. Researchers investigating behavioural elements in political economy as the topics suggested in the above general framework are invited to submit their papers for presentation at the conference.


Deirdre Weber

CESifo GmbH
Phone: +49(0)89/9224-1410
Fax: +49(0)89/9224-1409
Email: weber @

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