Unravelling Voters’ Perceptions of the Economy
Individual perceptions of the economy are a key factor influencing voting decisions, yet they often deviate from movements in the real economy. This study investigates the formation of economic perceptions during a period of economic and political instability in the Czech Republic using a series of Economic Expectations and Attitude (EEA) surveys and yearly regional economic indicators. It measures the extent to which retrospective and prospective perceptions are related to objective measures of the economy and subjective heterogeneity at an individual level. The study finds that objective economic indicators are inadequate determinants of economic perceptions and that such perceptions can be distorted by ideological beliefs, socioeconomic characteristics and personal experiences despite turbulent economic shocks, a highly politicized economic reform process and weak party identification.
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