Tag Archives: beliefs

Article in JPP: The political consequences of the lump of labour fallacy on welfare state reforms

Here is a piece I have been working on for eight years now! (Talk about efficiency…) I paste the abstract and the link:
The end of work or work without end? How people’s beliefs about labour markets shape retirement politics
Achim Kemmerling

Department of Public Policy, CEU Budapest, Hungary E-mail: Kemmerlinga@ceu.hu


This article argues that public opinion on retirement is related to people’s causal beliefs about how labour markets work. Whereas voters do not think that there is an employment trade-off between older and younger workers in some European countries, in others, this is a dominant paradigm. When they believe this trade-off exists, people are more hostile to reforms that lead to longer working lives. The article uses Eurobarometer data to investigate the determinants of this belief – for instance, more people being led to believe in such a trade-off under high levels of labour market regulation. The article then goes on to show that this belief is related to policy preferences about early retirement. Finally, the article illustrates the political consequences of this belief and shows that it affects many policy areas even beyond early retirement.

For details and the paper:

Journal of public policy

For an ungated version see Kemmerling_JPP_manuscript_for_website.

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How to teach economics vs. Dilbert (with Dilbert winning)

I have recently given a talk (Kemmerling_Presentation) on the problems of teaching standard 101 economics to policy students.

In the talk I revisit some common deficiencies in the standard teaching in economics: too little theoretical diversity (especially comparing 101 econ with advances in the field), too little empirics and methodological diversity (if at all, exclusively regression based), too little normative diversity (underplaying the true normative complexity of economic decision making). I plead for making economics a softer science and for taking away illusions of grandeur and, as some would call it, physics envy.

But Dilbert is much better: Dilbert comic strip on macroeconomics

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