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Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy

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  • Robert J. Blendon

Abstract

This paper reports the results of two parallel 1996 surveys, one of economists, one of the public. It finds that the public has a bleaker picture of what has happened economically to the average family and is more pessimistic than most economists about the intermediate future. The public cites different reasons than economists do for why the economy is not doing better. Also, individuals' perceptions of their own economic experiences yield a different set of beliefs about economic conditions than that described in official statistics. The authors offer possible explanations of the perception gap between the public and economists. Coauthors are John M. Benson, Mollyann Brodie, Richard Morin, Drew E. Altman, Daniel Gitterman, Mario Brossard, and Matt James.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Blendon, 1997. "Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 105-118, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:105-18
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.3.105
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.11.3.105
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Page, Benjamin I. & Shapiro, Robert Y., 1983. "Effects of Public Opinion on Policy," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 175-190, March.
    2. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 159-173, May.
    3. Erikson, Robert S. & Wright, Gerald C. & McIver, John P., 1989. "Political Parties, Public Opinion, and State Policy in the United States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 729-750, September.
    4. Ray C. Fair, 1996. "Econometrics and Presidential Elections," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 89-102, Summer.
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    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists

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