IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/journl/ijn_00445611.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

    () (IJN - Institut Jean-Nicod - DEC - Département d'Etudes Cognitives - ENS Paris - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Département de Philosophie - ENS Paris - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris)

  • David Leiser

    (Ben Gurion University - BGU - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

  • Rinat Benita

    (Ben Gurion University - BGU - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & David Leiser & Rinat Benita, 2010. "Human Foibles or Systemic Failure -- Lay Perceptions of the 2008-09 Financial Crisis," Post-Print ijn_00445611, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:ijn_00445611
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_00445611
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/ijn_00445611/document
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruno Frey & Stephan Meier, 2005. "Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 165-171, April.
    2. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
    4. 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.
    5. Walstad, William B. & Rebeck, Ken, 2002. "Assessing the economic knowledge and economic opinions of adults," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 921-935.
    6. Allen, Michael W. & Ng, Sik Hung & Leiser, David, 2005. "Adult economic model and values survey: Cross-national differences in economic beliefs," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 159-185, April.
    7. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 526-556, June.
    8. Leiser, David & Drori, Shelly, 2005. "NaIve understanding of inflation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 179-198, March.
    9. Haucap, Justus & Just, Tobias, 2003. "Not guilty? Another look at the nature and nurture of economics students," Research Notes 10, Deutsche Bank Research.
    10. Leiser, David & Beth Halachmi, Reut, 2006. "Children's understanding of market forces," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 6-19, February.
    11. 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.
    12. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-846, September.
    13. Robert H. Frank & Thomas D. Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1996. "Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 187-192, Winter.
    14. Paul H. Rubin, 2003. "Folk Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 157-171, July.
    15. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2009. "Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why it Matters for Global Capitalism," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(270), pages 357-358, September.
    16. John R. Carter & Michael D. Irons, 1991. "Are Economists Different, and If So, Why?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 171-177, Spring.
    17. Anthony M. Yezer & Robert S. Goldfarb & Paul J. Poppen, 1996. "Does Studying Economics Discourage Cooperation? Watch What We Do, Not What We Say or How We Play," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 177-186, Winter.
    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. Leiser, David & Benita, Rinat & Bourgeois-Gironde, Sacha, 2016. "Differing conceptions of the causes of the economic crisis: Effects of culture, economic training, and personal impact," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 154-163.
    2. Söderberg, Inga-Lill & Wester, Misse, 2012. "Lay actions in the face of crisis—Swedish citizens’ actions in response to the global financial crisis of 2008," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 796-805.
    3. Elisa Darriet & Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, 2015. "Why lay social representations of the economy should count in economics," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 14(2), pages 245-258, November.
    4. Rötheli, Tobias F., 2012. "Boundedly rational banks’ contribution to the credit cycle," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 730-737.

    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:hal:journl:ijn_00445611. 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: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    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 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.

    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.