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How laypeople and experts misperceive the effect of economic growth

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  • Christandl, Fabian
  • Fetchenhauer, Detlef
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    Abstract

    A series of four experiments were performed to examine the accuracy of estimations of economic growth by both experts and lay people, the factors that influence the accuracy of their estimations, and which procedures they use to make estimations. The results show that for actual growth rates higher than 1%, both groups clearly underestimated growth, and the underestimation was lower for experts than for laypeople. The estimations became slightly better when the task was presented in a financial investment scenario. Incentives had no effect on the accuracy of the estimations; however, a positive influence of the need for cognition was observed. Male participants provided more accurate estimations than female participants. The common use of different, and inappropriate solution procedures, accounted for the under-estimators.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 381-392

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:3:p:381-392

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

    Related research

    Keywords: Cognitive bias Incentives Need for cognition Forecasting Expectations;

    References

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    1. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-61, April.
    2. Gilbert, Daniel T. & Gill, Michael J. & Wilson, Timothy D., 2002. "The Future Is Now: Temporal Correction in Affective Forecasting," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 430-444, May.
    3. Ondrej Rydval & Andreas Ortmann, 2004. "How financial incentives and cognitive abilities affect task performance in laboratory settings: An illustration," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp221, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
    4. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
    5. Uri Benzion & Yochanan Shachmurove & Joseph Yagil, 2004. "Subjective discount functions - an experimental approach," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 299-311.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ludwig Ensthaler & Olga Nottmeyer & Georg Weizsäcker & Christian Zankiewicz, 2014. "Hidden Skewness: On the Difficulty of Multiplicative Compounding under Random Shocks," CESifo Working Paper Series 4760, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. John Dawson & John Seater, 2013. "Federal regulation and aggregate economic growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 137-177, June.
    3. Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Hoelzl, Erik, 2011. "Price perception and confirmation bias in the context of a VAT increase," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 131-141, February.
    4. Lotz, Sebastian & Fix, Andrea R., 2013. "Not all financial speculation is treated equally: Laypeople’s moral judgments about speculative short selling," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 34-41.
    5. Haferkamp, Alexandra & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Belschak, Frank & Enste, Dominik, 2009. "Efficiency versus fairness: The evaluation of labor market policies by economists and laypeople," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 527-539, August.
    6. Jacob, Robert & Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2011. "Economic experts or laypeople? How teachers and journalists judge trade and immigration policies," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 662-671.

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