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Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy

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  • Bryan Caplan

    (George Mason University)

Abstract

Differences between the general public"s "positive" economic views and economists" resemble other judgemental anomalies: Laypeople and experts "systematically" disagree. I analyse this puzzle using data from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy. The paper first tests and decisively rejects the hypothesis that the differences solely reflect economists" self-serving bias. Then it examines whether economists" political ideology and party loyalties explain the disagreement; if anything, this slightly increases their magnitude. The effect of economic training clearly falls but remains large after adding education to the set of control variables. Apparent biases" robustness suggests that the anomaly is real. Copyright 2002 Royal Economic Society

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:479:p:433-458
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