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The Polarization of Reality

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto F. Alesina
  • Armando Miano
  • Stefanie Stantcheva

Abstract

Americans are polarized not only in their views on policy issues and attitudes towards government and society, but also in their perceptions of the same factual reality. We conceptualize how to think about the “polarization of reality” and review recent papers that show that Republicans and Democrats view the same reality through a different lens. Perhaps, as a result, they hold different views about policies and what should be done to address economic and social issues. We also show that providing information leads to different reassessments of reality and different responses along the policy support margin, depending on one's political leaning.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto F. Alesina & Armando Miano & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2020. "The Polarization of Reality," NBER Working Papers 26675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26675
    Note: PE POL
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P35 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Public Finance

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