Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/74669
Authors: 
Heß, Moritz
von Scheve, Christian
Schupp, Jürgen
Wagner, Gert G.
Year of Publication: 
2013
Citation: 
[Journal:] DIW Economic Bulletin [ISSN:] 2192-7219 [Volume:] 3 [Year:] 2013 [Issue:] 4 [Pages:] 20-24
Abstract: 
Politics and business often involve making risky or dangerous decisions whose outcomes can be predicted only with difficulty, if at all. As attitudes toward risks and dangers vary between individuals, it is reasonable that people with different attitudes are active in areas requiring decisions with differing degrees of risk. For example, it has frequently been observed that entrepreneurs are more risk-loving than employees. In late 2011, we surveyed members of the German Bundestag (federal parliament) as to their attitude toward risk (and danger or uncertainty), revealing that they are far more risk-loving than average people; they are even significantly more risk-loving than the self-employed.1 It is possible to take a critical view of the fact that politicians are prepared to assume higher risks than the general population normally would. In this respect, politicians do not represent the population. Yet, we interpret this finding in a positive manner, as a socially rational division of labor between citizens, voters, and politicians in the context of a representative democracy whose institutions limit risk-seeking and power.
Subjects: 
political decision-making
risk aversion
German parliament
SOEP
JEL: 
D71
D78
H11
H70
P16
Z13
Document Type: 
Article

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