130 (3) 2010
Politikberatung und die Verhaltensökonomie: Eine Fallstudie zu einem schwierigen Verhältnis
The methods of behavioral economics differ from normative theory and experiments deliver different kinds of results than formal theory based on a set of axioms. Normally, the scientific communities find ways to avoid any conflict between different methodological approaches by separating them in sub communities. But what happens if theory shall be applied to advice politicians? Up to now, most economists reject the works of behavioral econ-omists as a basis for their advice. The fundamental argument is that experimental results lack the necessary ex-ternal validity. But the question of external validity has to be asked in a symmetric way. Whether or not norma-tive theory is external valid is an open question too. If the whole body of accepted scientific methods is used in order to find answers to pressing political questions, these answers may be not that clear and sharp cut as those delivered by normative theory alone. But on the other hand to base normative theoretical work on sound empiri-cally justified assumptions may help to improve the credibility of economic advices significantly.
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