How do voters form positive economic beliefs? Evidence from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy
Beliefs about normative economics appear to be primarily determined by sociotropic rather than egocentric variables. (Sears & Funk, 1990; Citrin & Green, 1990) Using the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy, the current paper finds that the same holds for positiveeconomic beliefs in most – but not all – cases. This hinges on whether a question is “causal” or “non-causal”: Causal beliefs depend on sociotropic variables, especially education and ideology; non-causal beliefs, in contrast, depend on egocentric variables, with income growth playing the leading role. This is consistent with a cognitive model where actors answer easier questions using personal experience, and harder ones with ``off-the-shelf" theories. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006
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.:
- 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.
- Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "What Makes People Think Like Economists? Evidence on Economic Cognition from the "Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 395-426, October.
- Kenny, Lawrence W., 1982. "Economies of scale in schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, February.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:128:y:2006:i:3:p:367-381. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.