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What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?

Alan Blinder and Alan Krueger

No 1324, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Public opinion influences politicians, and therefore influences public policy decisions. What are the roles of self-interest, knowledge, and ideology in public opinion formation? And how do people learn about economic issues? Using a new, specially-designed survey, we find that most respondents express a strong desire to be well informed on economic policy issues, and that television is their dominant source of information. On a variety of major policy issues (e.g., taxes, social security, health insurance), ideology is the most important determinant of public opinion, while measures of self-interest are the least important. Knowledge about the economy ranks somewhere in between.

Keywords: knowledge; public opinion; ideology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D70 E60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 62 pages
Date: 2004-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe, nep-lam and nep-reg
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Published in: Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2004:1

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Journal Article: What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It? (2004) Downloads
Working Paper: What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It? (2004) Downloads
Working Paper: What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It? (2004) Downloads
Working Paper: What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It? (2004) Downloads
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