Passions and interests revisited: The psychological foundations of economics and politics

Journal Article (Review;Journal)

Homo Politicus, Homo Oeconomicus. Can these two abstract human types meaningfully be distinguished? Is there a characteristic set of motivations that drive human beings in so far as they are political actors and a different set that drive their economic lives? What are the psychological foundations of economics and politics? The answers to these questions have significant implications both for the study and the practice of economics and politics. If homo politicus is essentially identical to homo oeconomicus, it is safe to generalize from the study of economic behavior to political phenomena. If not, such a procedure will distort our understanding of politics. Similarly, if we design political institutions and public policies assuming that people will behave as they do when they confront economic choices, we may find our intentions thwarted if we have neglected the distinctive motivations characteristic of political action. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Grant, RW

Published Date

  • December 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 137 / 3-4

Start / End Page

  • 451 - 461

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0048-5829

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11127-008-9325-7

Citation Source

  • Scopus