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Believing in Economic Theory: Sex, Lies, Evidence, Trust and Ideology

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  • Nathaniel Wilcox

    () (Department of Economics, University of Houston)

Abstract

In many empirical studies, ideology significantly predicts political outcomes, even after controlling for interests. This may reflect ideology’s influence on descriptive beliefs about the workings of the economic world. We investigate these beliefs about supply and demand theory, using survey methods and an experimental demonstration. As expected, relatively liberal respondents have more skeptical ex-ante beliefs (before viewing the experiment) about the theory. Surprisingly, however, relatively conservative respondents update beliefs (after viewing the experiment) so much less strongly that they have more skeptical ex-post beliefs. We explore and discount alternative explanations for these relationships between ideology and beliefs.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathaniel Wilcox, 2004. "Believing in Economic Theory: Sex, Lies, Evidence, Trust and Ideology," Working Papers 2004-06 Classification-, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  • Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:2004-06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Austin & Tatyana Kosyaeva & Nathaniel Wilcox, 2005. "Believe but Verify? Russian Views and the Market," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp278, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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