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Information and anti-American attitudes

  • Delavande, Adeline

    (University of Essex)

  • Zafar, Basit

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

This paper investigates how attitudes toward the United States are affected by the provision of information. We generate a panel of attitudes in urban Pakistan, in which respondents are randomly exposed to fact-based statements describing the United States in either a positive or negative light. Anti-American sentiment is high and heterogenous in our sample at the baseline, and systematically correlated with intended behavior, such as intended migration. We find that revised attitudes are, on average, significantly different from baseline attitudes: attitudes are revised upward (downward) upon receipt of positive (negative) information, indicating that providing information had a meaningful effect on U.S. favorability. There is, however, substantial heterogeneity in the revision of attitudes, with a substantial proportion of individuals not responding to the information. Nonrevisions are primarily a result of nonmalleability of attitudes. Revisions are driven by both saliency bias and information-based updating. In addition, the information-based updating is partly consistent with unbiased belief updating.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 558.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision: 01 Sep 2015
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:558
Note: Previous title: How deeply held are anti-American attitudes among Pakistani youth? Evidence using experimental variation in information
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  1. Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova, 2003. "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
  2. Andrew Caplin & Daniel Martin, 2013. "A Testable Theory of Imperfect Perception," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000649, David K. Levine.
  3. Matthew A. Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Media, Education and Anti-Americanism in the Muslim World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 117-133, Summer.
  4. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ebonya Washington & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2009. "Sticking with Your Vote: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 86-111, January.
  6. Adeline Delavande & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Stereotypes and madrassas: experimental evidence from Pakistan," Staff Reports 501, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alberto Abadie, 2006. "Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 50-56, May.
  9. Alan B. Krueger, 2009. "Attitudes and Action: Public Opinion and the Occurrence of International Terrorism," Working Papers 1100, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  10. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  11. Berrebi Claude, 2007. "Evidence about the Link Between Education, Poverty and Terrorism among Palestinians," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-38, December.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser, 2004. "Psychology and the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 408-413, May.
  13. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774.
  14. repec:pri:cepsud:179krueger is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
  16. Adeline Delavande & Basit Zafar, 2013. "Gender discrimination and social identity: experimental evidence from urban Pakistan," Staff Reports 593, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Political Economy of Hatred," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 45-86.
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