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

Alan Blinder and Alan Krueger

No 10787, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

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.

JEL-codes: D70 E60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic
Note: EFG PE
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Published as Author-Name: Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2004-1), pages 327-397.

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