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What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?

Author

Listed:
  • Author-Name: Alan S. Blinder

    (Princeton University)

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

Public opinion influences politicians, and therefore influences public policy decisions. What are the roles of self-interest, knowledge, and ideology in public opinion formation? And how do people learn about economic issues? Using a new, specially-designed survey, we find that most respondents express a strong desire to be well informed on economic policy issues, and that television is their dominant source of information. On a variety of major policy issues (e.g., taxes, social security, health insurance), ideology is the most important determinant of public opinion, while measures of self-interest are the least important. Knowledge about the economy ranks somewhere in between.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Author-Name: Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 327-397.
  • Handle: RePEc:bin:bpeajo:v:35:y:2004:i:2004-1:p:327-397
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    macroeconomics; Public; Economic Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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