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Does expert information affect citizens’ attitudes toward Corona policies? Evidence from Germany

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  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Immel, Lea
  • Neumeier, Florian
  • Peichl, Andreas

Abstract

Information provided by experts is believed to play a key role in shaping attitudes towards policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper uses a survey experiment to assess whether providing citizens with expert information about the health risk of COVID-19 and the economic costs of lockdown measures affects their attitudes towards these policies. Our findings show that providing respondents with information about COVID-19 fatalities among the elderly raises support for lockdown measures, while information about their economic costs decreases support. However, different population subgroups react differently. Men and younger respondents react more sensitively to information about lockdown costs, while women and older respondents are more susceptible towards information regarding fatality rates. Strikingly, our results are entirely driven by respondents who underestimate the fatality of COVID-19, who represent a majority.

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  • Fuest, Clemens & Immel, Lea & Neumeier, Florian & Peichl, Andreas, 2023. "Does expert information affect citizens’ attitudes toward Corona policies? Evidence from Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:78:y:2023:i:c:s0176268022001537
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2022.102350
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    Cited by:

    1. Dylong, Patrick & Koenings, Fabian, 2023. "Framing of economic news and policy support during a pandemic: Evidence from a survey experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corona; COVID-19; Pandemic; Lockdown; Survey experiment; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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