Knowledge and Attitude Towards European Monetary Union
The European Monetary Union (EMU) has been the subject of fierce controversies both among professional economists and ordinary people. This paper analyses the association between the degree of information of ordinary people and their opinion on EMU. In this context, we are concerned with basic information and not knowledge based on academic research. Usually, questionnaires shy away from including question that test the knowledge of probands on specific issues. However, there exists a European-wide survey, Eurobarometer 39 (1993), that includes some questions which can help to distinguish respondents according to their level of knowledge on European Union. In a first step, a knowledge index is computed from the four knowledge questions given in the survey. Then this indicator is utilised in a cross-country comparison and it is shown to which extent its average varies among the original 12 EU-members. In a further analysis, the bivariate relationship of the knowledge index with attitudes towards EMU is investigated. It is found that better informed respondents are relatively more in favour of EMU. This result is strengthened by the outcome of a bivariate correspondence analysis. To assess the robustness of the positive association between the degree of knowledge and attitude towards EMU, the analysis is repeated in the framework of a multivariate regression model. Again the positive association between information about EU and attitude towards EMU holds. At the end of the paper, a policy conclusion is put forward arguing that by raising the level of EU knowledge people's opinion towards further monetary integration could be influenced positively.
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