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Human Foibles or Systemic Failure -- Lay Perceptions of the 2008-09 Financial Crisis

  • Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

    ()

    (IJN - Institut Jean-Nicod - CNRS : UMR8129 - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS))

  • David Leiser

    (Ben Gurion University - Ben Gurion University)

  • Rinat Benita

    (Ben Gurion University - Ben Gurion University)

We examined lay perceptions of the recent financial and economic crisis through 1707 questionnaires, administered via internet, to a varied group of volunteers in a range of countries: France, the US, Russia, Germany, Israel, and sub-Saharan Africa. Respondents graded the contribution of a large number of possible factors to the crisis, and answered several complementary questions. We were able to identify two major conceptions, one seeing the economy as comprised of individuals, with failings of moral or cognitive character, and the other seeing the economy as a complex system, endowed with some resilience, functioning in cycles. Support for the former view was stronger than for the latter. Several demographic variables were found to affect these perspectives significantly, including SES, economic training, religious beliefs, and the extent to which the respondent was personally affected by the crisis.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number ijn_00445611.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published, Journal of Socio-Economics, 2010, 2-39
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:ijn_00445611
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_00445611/en/
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