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Human foibles or systemic failure--Lay perceptions of the 2008-2009 financial crisis

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Author Info

  • Leiser, David
  • Bourgeois-Gironde, Sacha
  • Benita, Rinat

Abstract

We examined lay perceptions of the recent financial and economic crisis through 1707 questionnaires, administered via internet, to a varied group of volunteers in a range of countries: France, the US, Russia, Germany, Israel, and sub-Saharan Africa. Respondents graded the contribution of a large number of possible factors to the crisis, and answered several complementary questions. We were able to identify two major conceptions, one seeing the economy as comprised of individuals, with failings of moral or cognitive character, and the other seeing the economy as a complex system, endowed with some resilience, functioning in cycles. Support for the former view was stronger than for the latter. Several demographic variables were found to affect these perspectives significantly, including SES, economic training, religious beliefs, and the extent to which the respondent was personally affected by the crisis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 132-141

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:132-141

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Lay understanding Financial crisis Social representations Naive economic cognition Intentional bias Globalization;

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Cited by:
  1. Gangl, Katharina & Kastlunger, Barbara & Kirchler, Erich & Voracek, Martin, 2012. "Confidence in the economy in times of crisis: Social representations of experts and laypeople," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 603-614.
  2. Söderberg, Inga-Lill & Wester, Misse, 2012. "Lay actions in the face of crisis—Swedish citizens’ actions in response to the global financial crisis of 2008," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 796-805.
  3. Rötheli, Tobias F., 2012. "Boundedly rational banks’ contribution to the credit cycle," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 730-737.
  4. Sabine Frerichs, 2011. "False Promises? A Sociological Critique of the Behavioural Turn in Law and Economics," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 289-314, September.

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