IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/feb/framed/00786.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Misinformation: Evidence from a Demand Side Field Experiment on Critical Thinking

Author

Listed:
  • John List
  • Lina Ramirez
  • Julia Seither
  • Jaime Unda
  • Beatriz Vallejo

Abstract

Misinformation represents a vital threat to the societal fabric of modern economies. While the supply side of the misinformation market has begun to receive increased scrutiny, the demand side has received scant attention. We explore the demand for misinformation through the lens of augmenting critical thinking skills in a field experiment during the 2022 Presidential election in Colombia. Data from roughly 2.000 individual suggest that our treatments enhance critical thinking, causing subjects to more carefully consider the truthfulness of potential misinformation. We furthermore provide evidence that reducing the demand of fake news can deliver on the dual goal of reducing the spread of fake news by encouraging reporting of misinformation.

Suggested Citation

  • John List & Lina Ramirez & Julia Seither & Jaime Unda & Beatriz Vallejo, 2024. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Misinformation: Evidence from a Demand Side Field Experiment on Critical Thinking," Framed Field Experiments 00786, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00786
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://s3.amazonaws.com/fieldexperiments-papers2/papers/00786.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barrera, Oscar & Guriev, Sergei & Henry, Emeric & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2020. "Facts, alternative facts, and fact checking in times of post-truth politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    3. John A. List, 2024. "Optimally generate policy-based evidence before scaling," Nature, Nature, vol. 626(7999), pages 491-499, February.
    4. John A. List, 2022. "Enhancing critical thinking skill formation: Getting fast thinkers to slow down," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(1), pages 100-108, January.
    5. John A. List, 2020. "Non est Disputandum de Generalizability? A Glimpse into The External Validity Trial," NBER Working Papers 27535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jon Roozenbeek & Sander Linden, 2019. "Fake news game confers psychological resistance against online misinformation," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 5(1), pages 1-10, December.
    7. Bursztyn, Leonardo & Rao, Akaash & Roth, Christopher & Yanagizawa-Drott, David, 2020. "Misinformation during a Pandemic," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1274, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    8. Voelkel, Jan G. & Stagnaro, Michael & Chu, James & Pink, Sophia Lerner & Mernyk, Joseph S. & Redekopp, Chrystal & Ghezae, Isaias & Cashman, Matthew & Adjodah, Dhaval & Allen, Levi, 2023. "Megastudy identifying effective interventions to strengthen Americans’ democratic attitudes," OSF Preprints y79u5, Center for Open Science.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Ingar Haaland & Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2023. "Designing Information Provision Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 3-40, March.
    2. Sebastian Blesse & Friedrich Heinemann & Tommy Krieger, 2021. "Ökonomische Desinformation — Ursachen und Handlungsempfehlungen [Economic Disinformation — Causes and Recommendations for Action]," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 101(12), pages 943-948, December.
    3. Faia, Ester & Fuster, Andreas & Pezone, Vincenzo & Zafar, Basit, 2021. "Biases in information selection and processing: Survey evidence from the pandemic," SAFE Working Paper Series 307, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    4. Felix Chopra & Ingar K. Haaland & Christopher Roth, 2021. "The Demand for Fact-Checking," CESifo Working Paper Series 9061, CESifo.
    5. Maxim Ananyev & Michael Poyker & Yuan Tian, 2021. "The safest time to fly: pandemic response in the era of Fox News," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(3), pages 775-802, July.
    6. Besley, Timothy & Fetzer, Thiemo & Mueller, Hannes, 2019. "Terror and Tourism: The Economic Consequences of Media Coverage," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 449, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Rossello, Giulia & Martinelli, Arianna, 2023. "The effect of lobbies’ narratives on academics' perceptions of scientific publishing: An information provision experiment," MERIT Working Papers 2023-010, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Sekou Keita & Thomas Renault & Jérôme Valette, 2023. "The Usual Suspects: Offender Origin, Media Reporting and Natives’ Attitudes Towards Immigration," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 134(657), pages 322-362.
    9. Ash, Elliott & Galletta, Sergio & Hangartner, Dominik & Margalit, Yotam & Pinna, Matteo, 2020. "The Effect of Fox News on Health Behavior During COVID-19," SocArXiv abqe5, Center for Open Science.
    10. Di Tella, Rafael & Galiani, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2021. "Persuasive propaganda during the 2015 Argentine Ballotage," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 885-900.
    11. Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski & Jérôme Valette, 2021. "Media Coverage of Immigration and the Polarization of Attitudes," PSE Working Papers halshs-03322229, HAL.
    12. Bertin Martens & Luis Aguiar & Estrella Gomez Herrera & Frank Muller, 2018. "The digital transformation of news media and the rise of disinformation and fake news," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2018-02, Joint Research Centre.
    13. Cantarella, Michele & Fraccaroli, Nicolò & Volpe, Roberto, 2023. "Does fake news affect voting behaviour?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1).
    14. Tobia Spampatti & Ulf J. J. Hahnel & Evelina Trutnevyte & Tobias Brosch, 2024. "Psychological inoculation strategies to fight climate disinformation across 12 countries," Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 8(2), pages 380-398, February.
    15. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Michael Lokshin & Iván Torre, 2021. "Opening-Up Trajectories and Economic Recovery: Lessons after the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo Group, vol. 67(3), pages 332-369.
    16. Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap & Aikaterini Karadimitropoulou & Eugenio Levi, 2021. "Narrative based information: is it the facts or their packaging that matters?," MUNI ECON Working Papers 2021-08, Masaryk University, revised Feb 2023.
    17. Choi, Syngjoo & Choi, Chung-Yoon & Kim, Seonghoon, 2023. "Tackling misperceptions about immigrants with fact-checking interventions: A randomized survey experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    18. Blesse, Sebastian & Heinemann, Friedrich & Krieger, Tommy, 2021. "Informationsdefizite als Hindernis rationaler Wirtschaftspolitik: Ausmass, Ursachen und Gegenstrategien. Eine Studie mit Unterstützung der Brigitte Strube Stiftung," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 241989, September.
    19. Guglielmo Briscese & Maddalena Grignani & Stephen Stapleton, 2022. "Crises and Political Polarization: Towards a Better Understanding of the Timing and Impact of Shocks and Media," Papers 2202.12339, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2023.
    20. 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).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    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:feb:framed:00786. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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: David Franks (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.fieldexperiments.com .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.