IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bge/wpaper/1096.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Dispelling Misconceptions about Economics

Author

Listed:
  • Jordi Brandts
  • Isabel Busom
  • Cristina Lopez-Mayan
  • Judith Panadés

Abstract

Some popular views about the workings of the economy are completely at odds with solid empirical evidence and congruent theoretical explanations and therefore can be qualified as misconceptions. Such beliefs lead to support for harmful policies. Cognitive biases may contribute to explaining why misconceptions persist even when scientific information is provided to people. We conduct two experimental studies to investigate, for the first time in economics, whether presenting information in a refutational way affects people’s beliefs about an important socio-economic issue on which expert consensus is very strong: the harmful effects of rent controls. In the laboratory (Study 1) both our refutational and non-refutational messages induce a belief change in the direction of expert knowledge. The refutational message, however, does not improve significantly on the non-refutational one. In the field (Study 2), where participants are college students receiving economic training, the refutational text improves, subject to some caveats, on standard instruction but not on the non-refutational message.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Brandts & Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2019. "Dispelling Misconceptions about Economics," Working Papers 1096, Barcelona School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1096
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/1096_0.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    2. Sacerdote, Bruce, 2011. "Peer Effects in Education: How Might They Work, How Big Are They and How Much Do We Know Thus Far?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 4, pages 249-277, Elsevier.
    3. Johnny Runge & Nathan Hudson-Sharp, 2020. "Public Understanding of Economics and Economic Statistics," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Occasional Papers ESCOE-OP-03, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    4. Howard S. Bloom, 1984. "Accounting for No-Shows in Experimental Evaluation Designs," Evaluation Review, , vol. 8(2), pages 225-246, April.
    5. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Kujal, Praveen & Lenkei, Balint, 2019. "Cognitive reflection test: Whom, how, when," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    6. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Susanne Neckermann & Sally Sadoff, 2016. "The Behavioralist Goes to School: Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Educational Performance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 183-219, November.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2003. "The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1027-1046, September.
    8. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    9. Gary Charness & Ryan Oprea & Sevgi Yuksel, 2021. "How do People Choose Between Biased Information Sources? Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1656-1691.
    10. Christian A. L. Hilber & Wouter Vermeulen, 2016. "The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 358-405, March.
    11. Bruce Sacerdote, 2014. "Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Peer Effects: Two Steps Forward?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 253-272, August.
    12. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    13. James N. Druckman & Mary C. McGrath, 2019. "The evidence for motivated reasoning in climate change preference formation," Nature Climate Change, Nature, vol. 9(2), pages 111-119, February.
    14. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
    15. John A. List, 2014. "Using Field Experiments to Change the Template of How We Teach Economics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 81-89, June.
    16. Gyourko, Joseph & Molloy, Raven, 2015. "Regulation and Housing Supply," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1289-1337, Elsevier.
    17. Adam M. Lavecchia & Heidi Liu & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities," NBER Working Papers 20609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti, 2011. "The Regulation of Residential Tenancy Markets in Post-War Western Europe: An Economic Analysis," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(1), pages 47-75, June.
    19. Shang, Xuesong & Duan, Hebing & Lu, Jingyi, 2021. "Gambling versus investment: Lay theory and loss aversion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    20. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Economic Experts versus Average Americans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 636-642, May.
    21. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2014. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 5-44, March.
    22. Dan Andrews & Aida Caldera Sánchez & Åsa Johansson, 2011. "Housing Markets and Structural Policies in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 836, OECD Publishing.
    23. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "Persuasion: Empirical Evidence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 643-669, September.
    24. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2018. "The wild bootstrap for few (treated) clusters," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 21(2), pages 114-135, June.
    25. Philip Babcock & Kelly Bedard & Gary Charness & John Hartman & Heather Royer, 2015. "Letting Down The Team? Social Effects Of Team Incentives," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(5), pages 841-870, October.
    26. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber, 2022. "Monetary Policy Communications and Their Effects on Household Inflation Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 130(6), pages 1537-1584.
    27. Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad & John J. Siegfried, 2015. "Research on Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(2), pages 285-325, June.
    28. Gordon Pennycook & Robert M Ross & Derek J Koehler & Jonathan A Fugelsang, 2016. "Atheists and Agnostics Are More Reflective than Religious Believers: Four Empirical Studies and a Meta-Analysis," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(4), pages 1-18, April.
    29. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    30. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2018. "Time varying risk aversion," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(3), pages 403-421.
    31. Jonathan de Quidt & Johannes Haushofer & Christopher Roth, 2018. "Measuring and Bounding Experimenter Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(11), pages 3266-3302, November.
    32. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2019. "Wild Bootstrap Randomization Inference for Few Treated Clusters," Advances in Econometrics, in: Kim P. Huynh & David T. Jacho-chávez & Gautam Tripathi (ed.), The Econometrics of Complex Survey Data, volume 39, pages 61-85, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    33. Abadie, Alberto & Athey, Susan & Imbens, Guido W. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey, 2017. "When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?," Research Papers repec:ecl:stabus:3596, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    34. Rebecca Diamond & Tim McQuade, 2019. "Who Wants Affordable Housing in Their Backyard? An Equilibrium Analysis of Low-Income Property Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1063-1117.
    35. Gary Charness & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Groups Make Better Self-Interested Decisions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 157-176, Summer.
    36. Lavecchia, A.M. & Liu, H. & Oreopoulos, P., 2016. "Behavioral Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    37. Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2017. "Students' persistent preconceptions and learning economic principles," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 74-92, April.
    38. Molloy, Raven, 2020. "The effect of housing supply regulation on housing affordability: A review," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    39. Kahan, Dan M. & Peters, Ellen & Dawson, Erica Cantrell & Slovic, Paul, 2017. "Motivated numeracy and enlightened self-government," Behavioural Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 54-86, May.
    40. Lee, Yong-Ju & Cho, Hyunkuk, 2021. "Students’ preference for grading rules: The role of ratio bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    41. 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.
    42. Brendan Nyhan, 2020. "Facts and Myths about Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 220-236, Summer.
    43. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
    44. Jacob, Robert & Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2011. "Economic experts or laypeople? How teachers and journalists judge trade and immigration policies," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 662-671.
    45. Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), 2015. "Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 5, number 5.
    46. Keela S. Thomson & Daniel M. Oppenheimer, 2016. "Investigating an alternate form of the cognitive reflection test," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(1), pages 99-113, January.
    47. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
    48. Ana Rute Cardoso & Annalisa Loviglio & Lavinia Piemontese, 2016. "Misperceptions of unemployment and individual labor market outcomes," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-22, December.
    49. Joseph Gyourko & Albert Saiz & Anita Summers, 2008. "A New Measure of the Local Regulatory Environment for Housing Markets: The Wharton Residential Land Use Regulatory Index," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(3), pages 693-729, March.
    50. Andrew Haldane & Michael McMahon, 2018. "Central Bank Communications and the General Public," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 578-583, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Brandts & Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2022. "“Pictures are worth many words: Effectiveness of visual communication in dispelling the rent–control misconception”," AQR Working Papers 202202, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Feb 2022.
    2. Breunig, Christoph & Grabova, Iuliia & Haan, Peter & Weinhardt, Felix & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2021. "Long-run expectations of households," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C).
    3. Dolls, Mathias & Schüle, Paul & Windsteiger, Lisa, 2022. "Affecting Public Support for Economic Policies: Evidence from a Survey Experiment about Rent Control in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264060, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Corduas, Marcella, 2022. "Gender differences in the perception of inflation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    5. Jordi Brandts & Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2022. "Images Say More Than Just Words: Effectiveness of Visual and Text Communication in Dispelling the Rent–Control Misconception," Working Papers 1322, Barcelona School of Economics.
    6. Leung, Charles Ka Yui, 2022. "Housing and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 115500, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Yann Algan & Quoc-Anh Do & Nicolò Dalvit & Alexis Le Chapelain & Yves Zenou, 2015. "How Social Networks Shape Our Beliefs: A Natural Experiment among Future French Politicians," Working Papers hal-03459820, HAL.
    2. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/78vacv4udu92eq3fec89svm9uv is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jordi Brandts & Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2022. "“Pictures are worth many words: Effectiveness of visual communication in dispelling the rent–control misconception”," AQR Working Papers 202202, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Feb 2022.
    4. Jordi Brandts & Isabel Busom & Cristina Lopez-Mayan & Judith Panadés, 2022. "Images Say More Than Just Words: Effectiveness of Visual and Text Communication in Dispelling the Rent–Control Misconception," Working Papers 1322, Barcelona School of Economics.
    5. Cooper, David J. & Saral, Krista & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Why Join a Team?," IZA Discussion Papers 12587, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
      • David J. Cooper & Krista Saral & Marie Claire Villeval, 2021. "Why Join a Team?," Post-Print halshs-03003653, HAL.
      • David Cooper & Krista Saral & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Why Join a Team?," Working Papers halshs-02295921, HAL.
      • David J. Cooper & Krista Saral & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Why Join a Team?," Working Papers 1928, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    6. Adam Altmejd & Andrés Barrios-Fernández & Marin Drlje & Joshua Goodman & Michael Hurwitz & Dejan Kovac & Christine Mulhern & Christopher Neilson & Jonathan Smith, 2021. "O Brother, Where Start Thou? Sibling Spillovers on College and Major Choice in Four Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(3), pages 1831-1886.
    7. Christopher Neilson & Adam Altmejd & Andres Barrios-Fernandez & Marin Drlje & Dejan Kovac, 2019. "Siblings' Effects on College and Major Choices: Evidence from Chile, Croatia and Sweden," Working Papers 633, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. Lucks, Konstantin E. & Lührmann, Melanie & Winter, Joachim, 2020. "Assortative matching and social interaction: A field experiment on adolescents’ risky choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 313-340.
    9. Peter Andre & Carlo Pizzinelli & Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2019. "Subjective Models of the Macroeconomy: Evidence from Experts and Representative Samples," CESifo Working Paper Series 7850, CESifo.
    10. Lergetporer, Philipp & Woessmann, Ludger, 2019. "The Political Economy of Higher Education Finance: How Information and Design Affect Public Preferences for Tuition," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 145, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    11. Obergruber, Natalie & Zierow, Larissa, 2020. "Students’ behavioural responses to a fallback option - Evidence from introducing interim degrees in german schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    12. Dorner, Matthias & Görlitz, Katja, 2020. "Training, wages and a missing school graduation cohort," IAB-Discussion Paper 202028, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    13. Gerard, Andrew & Lopez, Maria Claudia & Mason, Nicole M. & Bizoza, Alfred R., 2022. "Do government zoning policies improve buyer-farmer relationships? Evidence from Rwanda’s coffee sector," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    14. Hahn, Youjin & Islam, Asadul & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Teams, Organization and Education Outcomes: Evidence from a field experiment in Bangladesh," CEPR Discussion Papers 10631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Yann Algan & Quoc-Anh Do & Nicolò Dalvit & Alexis Le Chapelain & Yves Zenou, 2015. "How Social Networks Shape Our Beliefs: A Natural Experiment among Future French Politicians," Working Papers hal-03459820, HAL.
    16. Lépine, Andrea & Estevan, Fernanda, 2021. "Do ability peer effects matter for academic and labor market outcomes?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    17. Carpenter, Christopher S. & Gonzales, Gilbert & McKay, Tara & Sansone, Dario, 2020. "Effects of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Mandate on Health Insurance Coverage for Individuals in Same-Sex Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 13119, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Adam M. Lavecchia & Philip Oreopoulos & Robert S. Brown, 2020. "Long-Run Effects from Comprehensive Student Support: Evidence from Pathways to Education," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 209-224, June.
    19. Christian A. L. Hilber, 2019. "Immobilienpreise und Immobilienzyklen und die Rolle von Angebotsbeschränkungen [The impact of local supply constraints on house prices and price dynamics]," Zeitschrift für Immobilienökonomie (German Journal of Real Estate Research), Springer;Gesellschaft für Immobilienwirtschaftliche Forschung e. V., vol. 5(1), pages 37-65, November.
    20. Ingo E. Isphording & Ulf Zölitz, 2020. "The value of a peer," ECON - Working Papers 342, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    21. James G. MacKinnon, 2019. "How cluster‐robust inference is changing applied econometrics," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(3), pages 851-881, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    misconceptions; biases; rent control; economic communication; persuasion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1096. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bargses.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Bruno Guallar (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bargses.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.