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Human Foibles or Systemic Failure -- Lay Perceptions of the 2008-09 Financial Crisis

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Author Info

  • Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

    ()
    (IJN - Institut Jean-Nicod - CNRS : UMR8129 - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS))

  • David Leiser

    (Ben Gurion University - Ben Gurion University)

  • Rinat Benita

    (Ben Gurion University - Ben Gurion University)

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

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number ijn_00445611.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published, Journal of Socio-Economics, 2010, 2-39
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:ijn_00445611

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_00445611/en/
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Related research

Keywords: financial crisis; naive economic cognition; intentional bias; globalization.;

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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