Okunniga väljare och naturkatastrofer
Jag fann dessa forskningsbaserade konstateranden från Ilya Somin intressanta:
- Demokratier hanterar katastrofer bättre än diktaturer:
”Recent research shows that democratic governments handle natural disasters much better than dictatorships do, even after controlling for differences in wealth. The reason is not hard to figure out. If a natural disaster kills thousands of people, even the most ignorant voters are likely to notice and blame incumbent political leaders, whom they can punish at the next election. As a result, democratic leaders have incentives to try to reduce the death and destruction as much as they can, given other political constraints. Dictators don’t have any comparable electoral incentives.”
- Okunniga väljare gör att demokratier hanterar katastrofer värre än de skulle kunna göra:
”Economists Andrew Healy and Neil Malhotra provide evidence that voters reward politicians much more for disaster relief spending than disaster prevention spending, even though the latter is far more effective. Why this bias? Probably because disaster relief spending is far more visible to poorly informed voters than is prevention spending. … Another problem caused by political ignorance is that voters also tend to blame politicians even for those disasters they can’t control, such as droughts and shark attacks. When the electorate focuses on such bogus issues, they lose the opportunity to judge incumbents by their performance in areas where they can make a real difference — including natural disasters that politicians can genuinely mitigate.”
Det finns nu ett stort fokus i nationalekonomisk forskning att belägga okunskap och oförmåga att fatta rationella beslut bland ekonomiska beslutsfattare. Det är spännande, i Anthony Downs anda, att fler nu också studerar liknande tillkortakommanden hos politikers uppdragsgivare: se t.ex. vidare här, här och här.