Two projects will fill John Ahlquist’s fellowship year, both of which concern policies designed to help citizens share and mitigate the risk of economic hardship. The first builds on Ahlquist’s ongoing participation in CASBS’ working group on the Future of Work: how do annuity policies — open-ended promises of government benefits to some set of people — become credible in the eyes of recipients? During the fellowship year he will develop a behavioral measure of policy credibility and then design experimental tools able to establish what affects the credibility of annuity policies.
The second project continues Ahlquist’s existing work that uses experimental tools to examine how traditional social insurance and welfare policies affect behavior and how political preferences around such programs emerge. One such experiment tests whether insurance generosity induces people to acquire more task-specific skills. Another attempts to discover whether people will actively give up a direct personal benefit to prevent another person deemed “undeserving” from accessing a similar benefit.
Ahlquist is a political economist and an associate professor in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. His work looks at how advanced capitalism and democratic government reinforce or undermine one another, with a special focus on distributional conflict and the political mobilization of wage earners. He has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from the University of Washington.
Learn more about Ahlquist’s work here: http://johnahlquist.net/.