- Understanding political behavior: Essays in experimental political economy
- Award date
- 3 December 2014
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
Explaining individual political behavior is one of the big challenges in the social sciences. The work contained in this thesis uses the tools of experimental economics, game theory and decision theory to shed light on political choices. Relaxing the neoclassical assumptions of self-interested preferences and full rationality, this work investigates whether group identity and altruism matter for political participation, what the role of reciprocity and normative appeals in the response to political mobilization is, and whether the costs of information influence the way it is incorporated in (political) decision-making. The methodology of experimental economics is crucial in obtaining an answer to these questions. The evidence presented in this thesis shows that group identity has a mild effect on one's decision to participate and that more altruistic people participate more in politics; it underscores the importance of normative appeals for the effectiveness of political mobilization; and it demonstrates that, contrary to the standard assumption, the cost of information influences the way it is incorporated in our decisions.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Series: Tinbergen Institute research series 598
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