Hindsight Bias and Trust in Government: Evidence from the United States
Deborah Kistler (),
Christian Zehnder () and
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Deborah Kistler: ETH Zurich
Christian Zehnder: UniversitÃ© de Lausanne
No 526, FSES Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland
We empirically assess whether hindsight bias has consequences on how citizens evaluate their political actors. Using an incentivized elicitation technique, we demonstrate that people systematically misremember their past policy preferences regarding how to best fight the Covid-19 pandemic. At the peak of the first wave in the United States, the average respondent mistakenly believes they supported significantly stricter restrictions at the onset of the first wave than they actually did. Exogenous variation in the extent of hindsight bias, induced through random assignment to survey structures, allows us to show that hindsight bias causally reduces trust in government.
Keywords: Hindsight bias; Trust in Government; Evaluation distortion; Biased Beliefs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D83 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-pol and nep-soc
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Working Paper: Hindsight Bias and Trust in Government: Evidence from the United States (2022)
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