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Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy

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  • Bryan Caplan

    (George Mason University)

Abstract

Differences between the general public"s "positive" economic views and economists" resemble other judgemental anomalies: Laypeople and experts "systematically" disagree. I analyse this puzzle using data from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy. The paper first tests and decisively rejects the hypothesis that the differences solely reflect economists" self-serving bias. Then it examines whether economists" political ideology and party loyalties explain the disagreement; if anything, this slightly increases their magnitude. The effect of economic training clearly falls but remains large after adding education to the set of control variables. Apparent biases" robustness suggests that the anomaly is real. Copyright 2002 Royal Economic Society

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 112 (2002)
Issue (Month): 479 (April)
Pages: 433-458

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:479:p:433-458

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  1. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  2. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
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  6. Fuchs, Victor R, 1996. "Economics, Values, and Health Care Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 1-24, March.
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  8. Fremling, Gertrud M & Lott, John R, Jr, 1996. "The Bias towards Zero in Aggregate Perceptions: An Explanation Based on Rationally Calculating Individuals," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 276-95, April.
  9. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. " Rational Irrationality and the Microfoundations of Political Failure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(3-4), pages 311-31, June.
  10. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  11. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1.
  12. Frey, Bruno S & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1992. "Economics and Economists: A European Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 216-20, May.
  13. Babcock, Linda & Wang, Xianghong & Lowenstein, George, 1996. "Choosing the Wrong Pond: Social Comparisons in Negotiations That Reflect a Self-Serving Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 1-19, February.
  14. Eichenberger, Reiner & Serna, Angel, 1996. " Random Errors, Dirty Information, and Politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 86(1-2), pages 137-56, January.
  15. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
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  1. Ekonomisti nemaju privilegiranu govornicu
    by cronomy in Cronomy on 2012-12-19 00:22:22
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