Economic experts or laypeople? How teachers and journalists judge trade and immigration policies
It is widely acknowledged that lay and expert perspectives on the economy widely diverge. In this context, teachers and journalists play a major role because they act as promoters for economic knowledge transfer through schools and media. This study analyzes how teachers and journalists judge economic policies and whether they are closer to an expert or a lay way of thinking. In four separate surveys, randomly chosen German adults (n=190), economists (n=80), social studies teachers (n=97) and economic journalists (n=90) were presented two policy proposals from the trade and immigration policy domain. Consistent with existing evidence, a large majority of the economists favored free trade and labor mobility and judged them as economically efficient and fair, while most of the laypeople hold contrary views. The answers from journalists and teachers generally lay in between economists and laypeople—with teachers being closer to laypeople and journalists tending more towards the economists. Interestingly however, teachers and journalists reverted to the same criteria for the judgment of economic policies as laypeople. All three groups based their judgments nearly exclusively on a policy proposal’s perceived fairness, while economists strongly focused on its economic efficiency.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
- Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004.
"What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?,"
103, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- 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.
- Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," NBER Working Papers 10787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blinder, Alan S. & Krueger, Alan B., 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," IZA Discussion Papers 1324, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Simon Kemp, 2008. "Lay attitudes to trade with low-wage countries," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 335-343, April.
- 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.
- Kemp, Simon, 2007. "Psychology and opposition to free trade," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 25-44, March.
- Paul H. Rubin, 2003. "Folk Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 157-171, July.
- Cletus C. Coughlin, 2002. "The controversy over free trade: the gap between economists and the general public," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan., pages 1-22.
- Baron, Jonathan & Kemp, Simon, 2004. "Support for trade restrictions, attitudes, and understanding of comparative advantage," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 565-580, October.
- Sears, David O. & Funk, Carolyn L., 1990. "The limited effect of economic self-interest on the political attitudes of the mass public," Journal of Behavioral Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 247-271.
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2004.
"(Why) Are Economists Different?,"
University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004
2004-18, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2009. "How laypeople and experts misperceive the effect of economic growth," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 381-392, June.
- Walstad, William B. & Rebeck, Ken, 2002. "Assessing the economic knowledge and economic opinions of adults," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 921-935.
- 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.
- Williamson, Maureen R. & Wearing, Alexander J., 1996. "Lay people's cognitive models of the economy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-38, February.
- Haferkamp, Alexandra & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Belschak, Frank & Enste, Dominik, 2009. "Efficiency versus fairness: The evaluation of labor market policies by economists and laypeople," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 527-539, August.
- McCaffery, Edward J. & Baron, Jonathan, 2003. "The Humpty Dumpty blues: Disaggregation bias in the evaluation of tax systems," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 230-242, July.
- Eriksen, Knut & Fallan, Lars, 1996. "Tax knowledge and attitudes towards taxation; A report on a quasi-experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 387-402, June.
- Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad, 1999. "What Do College Seniors Know about Economics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 350-354, May.
- William B. Walstad & Ken Rebeck, 2001. "Assessing the Economic Understanding of U.S. High School Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 452-457, May.
- Scheve, Kenneth F. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "What determines individual trade-policy preferences?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-292, August.
- William B. Walstad & Stephen Buckles, 2008. "The National Assessment of Educational Progress in Economics: Findings for General Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 541-546, May.
- Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
- Carl Davidson & Steve Matusz & Doug Nelson, 2006. "Fairness and the Political Economy of Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(8), pages 989-1004, 08.
- Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-197, December.
- Bryan Caplan, 2007. "Introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies," Introductory Chapters, in: The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies Princeton University Press.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:5:p:662-671. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.