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Michael M. Bechtel

Michael M. Bechtel

Habilitation, PhD, MA

About

72
Publications
11,584
Reads
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1,463
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - present
Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2012 - September 2016
University of St.Gallen
Position
  • Professor
September 2008 - August 2012
ETH Zurich
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (72)
Article
How would citizens like public resources to be distributed and to what extent do policymakers’ allocation choices mirror those preferences? We investigate this question in the context of disaster relief and develop three theoretical arguments that relate to affectedness, need, and electoral ties. Using experimental data from a representative sample...
Research
Full-text available
When do societies succeed or fail to provide public goods? Previous research emphasizes that cooperation in public goods games correlates with expectations about cooperation by others among students and other selected demographic subgroups. So far, however, we lack knowledge about whether this reciprocity effect is causal and a general feature of p...
Article
Full-text available
National governments have intensified their attempts to create international institutions in various policy fields such as environment, finance, and trade. At the same time, many subnational policymakers have begun to duplicate international efforts by setting their own, stricter policies while others remain inactive or enact more lax regulation. T...
Article
To successfully address large-scale public health threats such as the novel coronavirus outbreak, policymakers need to limit feelings of fear that threaten social order and political stability. We study how policy responses to an infectious disease affect mass fear using data from a survey experiment conducted on a representative sample of the adul...
Article
We find that the public prefers the costs of climate action to be constant over time, irrespective of whether average costs are low or high. Policymakers interested in combating global warming should therefore introduce policies that initially rely on stable cost schedules instead of the widely discussed alternative of ramping up costs over time. C...
Article
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Societies can address collective threats such as natural disasters or pandemics by investing in preparedness (ex ante) or by offering compensation after an adverse event has occurred (ex post). What explains which of these options voters prefer? We study how personal exposure and policy knowledge affect mass support for long-term disaster preparedn...
Article
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The effects of austerity in response to financial crises are widely contested and assumed to cause significant electoral backlash. Nonetheless, governments routinely adopt austerity when confronting economic downturns and swelling deficits. We explore this puzzle by distinguishing public acceptance of austerity as a general approach and support for...
Article
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Which factors explain voters’ evaluations of policy responses to economic shocks? We explore this question in the context of mass preferences over the distribution of disaster relief and evaluate three fairness-based explanations related to affectedness, need, and political ties. We analyze experimental data from an original survey conducted among...
Article
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The introduction of policies that increase the price of carbon is central to limiting the adverse effects of global warming. Conventional wisdom holds that, of the possible cost paths, gradually raising costs relating to climate action will receive the most public support. Here, we explore mass support for dynamic cost paths in four major economies...
Article
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The economic effects of policy options help explain why individuals support some reforms while they oppose others. However, disentangling the egoistic and sociotropic origins of voter preferences has proven difficult. We conduct an experiment that details how a reform affects one’s personal income, the average income in the country, and different i...
Article
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Voters tend to be richer, more conservative, and more educated than non-voters. While many electoral reforms promise to increase political participation, these policy instruments may have multidimensional and differential effects that can increase or decrease the representativeness of turnout. We develop an approach that allows us to estimate these...
Article
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Available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2715746 What explains the sharp divide among European publics over the Grexit? We explore this question using original surveys from four of the largest European economies. We contend that differences in citizens' own economic interests, as well as the often-mentioned chasm between supporters of mainstream an...
Article
Available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3422697. Time preferences may explain public opinion about a wide range of long-term policy problems whose costs and benefits will be realized in the distant future. However, mass publics may discount these costs and benefits because they are later or because they are more uncertain....
Article
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Political polarization and extremism are widely thought to be driven by the surge in economic inequality in many countries around the world. Understanding why inequality persists depends on knowing the causal effect of inequality on individual behavior. We study how inequality affects redistribution behavior in a randomized "give-or-take" experimen...
Article
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When do societies succeed in providing public goods? Previous research suggests that public goods contributions correlate with expectations about cooperation by others among students and other demographic subgroups. However, we lack knowledge about whether the effect of expected cooperation is causal and a general feature of populations. We fielded...
Article
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Can electoral institutions induce lasting changes in citizens' voting habits? We study the long-term and spillover effects of compulsory voting in the Swiss canton of Vaud (1900-1970) and find that this intervention increases turnout in federal referendums by 30 percentage points. However, despite its magnitude, the effect disappears quickly after...
Article
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Mitigating climate change requires countries to provide a global public good. This means that the domestic cleavages underlying mass attitudes toward international climate policy are a central determinant of its provision. We argue that the industry-specific costs of emission abatement and internalized social norms help explain support for climate...
Article
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Financial bailouts for ailing Eurozone countries face deep and widespread opposition among voters in donor countries, casting major doubts over the political feasibility of further assistance efforts. What is the nature of the opposition and under what conditions can governments obtain broader political support for funding such large-scale, interna...
Article
Full-text available
The economic consequences of policies help explain why individuals support some reforms while they oppose others. Previous work suggests that these preferences have both egoistic and sociotropic roots. However, the relative importance of these two types of concerns as well as their origins remain poorly understood. We explore how the multidimension...
Article
Full-text available
What explains the sharp divide among European publics over the Grexit? We explore this question using original surveys from four of the largest European economies. We contend that differences in citizens' own economic interests, as well as the often-mentioned chasm between supporters of mainstream and extremist parties, provide little insight into...
Article
Full-text available
Citizens unequally participate in referendums, and this may systematically bias policy in favor of those who vote. Some view compulsory voting as an important tool to alleviate this problem, whereas others worry about its detrimental effects on the legitimacy and quality of democratic decision making. So far, however, we lack systematic knowledge a...
Article
Full-text available
A large literature argues that public opinion is vulnerable to various types of framing and cue effects. However, we lack evidence on whether existing findings, which are typically based on lab experiments involving low-salience issues, travel to salient and contentious political issues in real-world voting situations. We examine the relative impor...
Article
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Conventional wisdom holds that the creation of international, court-like institutions helps countries to peacefully settle trade conflicts, thereby enhancing overall welfare. Many scholars and pundits have argued, however, that these institutions remain ultimately ineffective, because they merely reflect the distribution of power in the anarchic in...
Article
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The provision of manageable greenhouse gases to mitigate climate change is the paradigmatic global public good. As with most public goods, domestic political conflict over its provision is a central determinant of cooperation on climate policy. What role, if any, do economic interests and social norms play in shaping public disagreement about clima...
Article
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Voluntary cooperation in public goods problems crucially affects the functioning and long-term fate of economic and political systems. Previous research emphasizes that cooperation in public goods games correlates with expectations about cooperation by others among students and other selected demographic subgroups. However, determining if this reci...
Article
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Why do voters agree to bear the costs of bailing out other countries? Despite the prominence of public opinion in the ongoing debate over the eurozone bailouts, voters' preferences on the topic are poorly understood. We conduct the first systematic analysis of this issue using observational and experimental survey data from Germany, the country sho...
Article
Full-text available
Citizens unequally participate in elections and this may systematically bias policy in favor of those who vote. Many view compulsory voting as an important tool to alleviate this problem, but we still know very little about its policy consequences. We argue that sanctioned compulsory voting mobilizes citizens at the bottom of the income distributio...
Article
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Effective climate mitigation requires international cooperation, and these global efforts need broad public support to be sustainable over the long run. We provide estimates of public support for different types of climate agreements in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Using data from a large-scale experimental survey, we...
Article
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Studies of policy preferences typically restrict measurements to a single dimension on which respondents are asked to choose between support and opposition to a policy. However, major policy decisions are often multidimensional as they entail a bundle of policy features. We present a survey approach based on conjoint analysis that allows scholars t...
Article
Full-text available
Why do voters agree to bear the costs of bailing out other countries? Despite the prominence of public opinion in the ongoing debate, voters’ preferences on the eurozone bailouts are poorly understood. Our analysis uses observational and experimental data from Germany, the country shouldering the largest share of the EU's financial rescue fund. We...
Article
Full-text available
A large literature argues that public opinion is vulnerable to various types of framing and cue effects. However, we lack evidence on whether existing findings, which are typically based on lab experiments involving low salience issues, travel to salient and contentious political issues in real-world voting situations. We conducted a panel survey e...
Article
Full-text available
The widespread second-order view on subnational elections leaves little room for the idea that subnational election campaigns matter for national-level electoral preferences. I challenge this perspective and explore the context-conditional role of subnational election campaigns for national-level vote intentions in multilevel systems. Campaigns dir...
Article
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Dominant theories of electoral behavior emphasize that voters myopically evaluate policy performance and that this shortsightedness may obstruct the welfare-improving effect of democratic accountability. However, we know little about how long governments receive electoral credit for beneficial policies. We exploit the massive policy response to a m...
Article
Full-text available
States, firms, and many other types of societal organizations rely on the internalization of norms that guide individual behavior to realize more cooperative outcomes. Norm internalization implies that even after a law is abolished, levels of collective action exceed what we would observe if individuals had not experienced this legal norm. We exami...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research in international relations and political economy suggests that the creation of court-like institutions helps to peacefully settle trade conflicts thereby facilitating economic exchange between states. The World Trade Organization's dispute settlement mechanism offers countries such an opportunity. However, even if a WTO panel rules...
Article
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Practitioners and scholars emphasize that addressing global environmental challenges re-quires international cooperation. Indeed, many national governments have intensified their attempts to create and strengthen international environmental regimes. At the same time, however, local governments have begun to duplicate international efforts by settin...
Article
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A large literature in international political economy views individuals’ trade policy preferences as a function of the income effects of economic openness. We argue that the expected environmental consequences of free trade play a noteworthy and underappreciated role for protectionist attitudes that has not been noted so far. We use unique Swiss su...
Article
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Forecasting plays an increasingly important role in the scientific study of European Union politics and in political science in general. This is because forecasts are not only indispensable for (political) actors who need to form expectations about future events, but can also be used to judge the validity of (competing) theoretical models. While th...
Article
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The results of deliberations in multilateral fora are often considered ineffective+ Decision making in the European Union (EU) and in particular its key intergovernmental body, the European Council, poses no exception. Especially in the domain of EU foreign and security affairs, the unanimity requirement governing this institution allegedly allows...
Article
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This paper studies the redistributive effects of government partisanship on economic sectors in a parliamentary democracy. Based on a rational partisan perspective and policy-induced campaign contribution models, we expect that once in office, ideologically different parties deliver favorable policies to different industries in order to enrich thei...
Article
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This study examines the relationships between democratic politics and systematic investment (or capital) risk. Low risk is crucial to any well-functioning economy, as it encourages capital investment, facilitates growth, and enhances overall economic performance. This article distinguishes preelectoral, postelectoral, and institutional factors and...
Article
Der enorme Anstieg grenzüberschreitender Kapitalströme ist ein zentrales Kennzeichen der Globalisierung (Beisheim/Walter 1997). Die bloßen Zahlen sind beeindruckend (Abbildung 3.1). Das Volumen der pro Jahr auf den globalisierten Finanzmärkten gehandelten Anleihen und Aktien stieg von etwas mehr als knapp 20 Billionen Dollar im Jahr 1996 auf mehr a...
Article
Der in diesem Buch unternommene Versuch, die Auswirkungen internationaler Ereignisse auf Finanzmärkte analytisch und empirisch zu durchdringen, erfordert nicht nur theoretische Innovation. Die Forschungsfrage, der wir nachgehen, setzt auch Vertrautheit mit den ökonometrischen Verfahren voraus, die für die Analyse von Finanzmärkten geeignet sind. Da...
Article
Die vergangenen 15 Jahre kennzeichnet ein beeindruckender Anstieg grenzüberschreitender Kapitalströme. Auch die Transaktionen auf den globalisierten Aktienmärkten haben dabei zugenommen. Im Jahr 1996 wurden an den Börsen an einem einzigen Tag Aktien im Wert von durchschnittlich etwa 56 Milliarden Dollar gehandelt. Zehn Jahre später, im Jahr 2006, l...
Article
Aktienmärkte sind aus entwickelten Volkswirtschaften nicht mehr wegzudenken. Sie sind entscheidend für den Wohlstand eines Landes (Demirgüç-Kunt/Levine 1996; Levine/Zervos 1998, 1996) und nicht zuletzt deshalb regelmäßig Gegenstand der öffentlichen Berichterstattung. Zu dem Ausmaß, mit dem die Bevölkerung in Aktien investiert, werden mit Änderungen...
Article
Die Heterogenität der Verteilungsinteressen von Menschen und Gruppen von Menschen ist für Politik konstitutiv (Lasswell 1950). Zunehmend widmet sich die Politikwissenschaft nicht nur dem Ausmaß, zu dem Parteien die Verteilungswünsche von Wählern (Adams et al. 2004) und Interessengruppen (Bräuninger/ Bernhagen 2005; Grossman/Helpman 2001, 1994; Aust...
Article
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Are elections and government part sanship important for stock market performance? This article off ers a critical survey of the empirical literature on the impact of politics on stock markets. Af er a concise introduction of the two major politico-economic models, which have inspired research on the relationship between politics and stock markets,...
Chapter
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Die Untersuchungen dieses Buches haben gezeigt, dass internationale politische Ereignisse Finanzmärkte systematisch beeinflussen können. Einzelne politische Ereignisse scheinen gerade in der öffentlichen Debatte oft so offensichtlich die wirtschaftlichen Erwartungen der Akteure zu beeinflussen, dass man vielleicht sogar versucht sein mag, weitere e...
Article
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Citizens' concerns about (international) environmental protection standards are of increasing importance to governments in industrially advanced, high-regulating countries. In almost any proposal for a trade agreement, countries with low environmental regulation standards are required to introduce higher policy standards in exchange for high-regula...
Article
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How does divided government affect the probability of economic policy change, and thus policy risk on financial markets? In contrast to the standard balancing model we argue that divided government, i.e., partisan conflict between the executive and the legislative branches, negatively affects the possibility of economic policy change. Using a simpl...
Article
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Rational partisan theory suggests that firms perform better under right- than left-leaning governments. In the pre-election time, investors should anticipate these effects of government partisanship. This is the first study to investigate such anticipated partisan effects in Germany. Applying conditional volatility models we analyze the impact of e...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the relationship between democratic politics and financial risk. Low financial risk is crucial to any well-functioning economy, as it encourages investment, facilitates growth, and therefore enhances overall economic performance. However, little is known about the political sources driving fluctuations around the expected value...
Article
Full-text available
This paper offers the first analysis of sector-specific partisan effects and uncertainty about the electoral outcome on industrial sectors in Germany. Applying a rational partisan perspective, we expect that once in office, ideologically different parties deliver favorable policies to different industries, in order to benefit their sector-specific...
Article
The current legal literature in Germany is marked by attempts to reduce the extent to which legislative acts concerning basic rights are subject to constitutional review by the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC). Their aim is to limit the court's role in areas where it is perceived as being an "annihilator" of laws and a legislator from the...
Article
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In der Rechtswissenschaft ist man gegenwärtig bemüht, die verfassungsgerichtlich überprüfbare Grundrechtsbindung des Gesetzgebers durch eine innovierte Grundrechtsdogmatik zu lockern. Ziel ist es, das Bundesverfassungsgericht in seiner unter demokratietheoretischen Gesichtspunkten problematischen Rolle als „Gesetzesvernichter“ und „Ersatzgesetzgebe...
Article
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Wir identifizieren die Amtsinhaberschaft einer Partei als Ursache von Kontaminationseffekten in Bundestagswahlen. Argumentiert wird, dass sich der Amtsinhaberstatus einer Partei nicht nur positiv auf ihren Erststimmenanteil auswirkt, sondern darüber hinaus auch ihren Zweitstimmenanteil in die Höhe treibt. Dieser Kontaminationseffekt ist von der For...
Chapter
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Seit den frühen 90er Jahren haben mehr als 30 Länder Wahlsysteme eingeführt, die die Mehrheitswahl in Einerwahlkreisen mit Elementen der Verhältniswahl verbinden. Es vermag daher nicht zu überraschen, dass die wissenschaftliche Zurückhaltung, mit der solchen kombinierten Wahlsystemen anfangs vor dem Hintergrund der idealtypischen Unterscheidung zwi...
Article
Full-text available
Decision making in the European Union and in particular its key intergovernmental body, the European Council, is often perceived as ineffective. This is especially the case in the domain of foreign and security policy in which the unanimity requirement allegedly allows nationalist governments to torpedo attempts to build up a European defense force...
Article
Full-text available
We thank […] for helpful comments and suggestions. Also, we would like to thank Dieter Kaiser for kindly providing us with the trading volume data. We bear responsibility for all remaining errors.
Article
Full-text available
The widespread second order view on subnational elections leaves little room for the idea that election campaigns other than those at the national level matter for electoral preferences in higher level political arenas. I challenge this perspective and explore the role of subnational election campaigns for voter uncertainty in multilevel systems. C...
Article
Full-text available
States, firms, and many other types of societal organizations rely on the internalization of norms that guide individual behavior to realize more cooperative outcomes. Norm internalization implies that even after a law is abolished, levels of collective action exceed what we would observe if individuals had not experienced this legal norm. We exami...

Projects

Project (1)
Archived project