Anders Kärnä () and Patrik Öhberg
Anders Kärnä: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Stockholm, and Örebro University, Sweden
Patrik Öhberg: University of Gothenburg
Abstract: Normative theories of representative democracy imply that politicians should be better informed of the consequences of a policy than ordinary voters. However, in real life, politicians can have strong convictions that risk blinding them to arguments against their positions. Policy engagement can lead politicians into motivated reasoning whereby they dismiss voters’ preferences and resist information counter to their own policy position. In this paper, we argue that Sweden’s generous migration policy is an example of a case where politicians’ policy engagement led them to motivated reasoning and to a rather optimistic view of the implications of welcoming a large influx of refugees. We show that Swedish politicians favoured a much more generous policy towards accepting refugees than their own voters. Despite limited evidence that a generous refugee policy is economically favourable in the long run, politicians on average held that belief.
27 pages, November 23, 2022
Full text files
wp1445.pdf Full text
Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Elisabeth Gustafsson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().
This page generated on 2022-11-24 15:52:12.