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HHPOLITICS Informe resumido

Project ID: 313673
Financiado con arreglo a: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
País: Denmark

Mid-Term Report Summary - HHPOLITICS (A Household Finance Theory of Political Attitudes and Political Behavior)

The project combines economics, political science and psychology and is concerned with how impatience (and to a lesser extent risk aversion) affects political attitude and preference formation, in particular towards social insurance and paternalistic policies. The starting point is that individuals are broadly recognized to be different in the degree to which they value current vs. future consumption (impatience) and in their tolerance towards risk. The project takes these insights to the collective arena, exploring how differences and impatience and risk, for example through personal savings, affect demand for social insurance. Another priority of the project is to examine the behavioral basis for attitudes towards paternalism, i.e. policies that aim at protecting individuals against themselves. Throughout, we examine also the basis for individual differences in impatience and methodological issues. The project has, so far, concentrated on two things: (1) establishing theory and empirical basis for a theory for social policy preferences based on people's ability to shoulder economic risk; we show how rich and poor hand-to-mouth consumers form a coalition for social insurance, while the 'classical' rich-poor spit exists for preferences over redistribution. This is important for understanding policy coalitions in the welfare state, in particular in times of upheaval. (2) develop theory and survey instruments for understanding attitudes towards paternalistic policies; a preliminary result is that such attitudes cluster around two separate types of paternalism, one that has to do with 'life-paternalism', here understood as paternalism focused on smoking and obesity, and another that has to do with 'economic paternalism', here policies that make savings mandatory and/or limit risky mortgages. In general, people are much more averse to life-paternalism than to economic paternalism.

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