Perceptions of economic vulnerability: First evidence from the survey of economic expectations
This report uses data from the authors' National Survey of Economic Expectations to describe how, during 1994, working Americans with health insurance perceived the risk of near-term deterioration in their economic status. Perceived economic vulnerability is measured through responses to questions eliciting subjective probabilities of loss of health insurance, of burglary, and of job loss. We find that respondents tend to rank burglary as the most likely of the three events, followed by job loss, and then loss of health insurance. The perceived risk of crime victimization is much higher than the realized rate of victimization. Male and female respondents have similar risk perceptions but blacks have much greater perceived vulnerability than do whites.
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