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Income misperception and populism

Thilo N. H. Albers, Felix Kersting and Fabian Kosse

No 104, W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers from University of Würzburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: We propose that false beliefs about own current economic status are an important factor for explaining populist attitudes. Eliciting subjects' receptiveness to rightwing populism and their perceived relative income positions in a representative survey of German households, we find that people with pessimistic beliefs about their income position are more attuned to populist statements. Key to understanding the misperception-populism relationship are strong gender differences in the mechanism: men are much more likely to channel their discontent into affection for populist ideas. A simple information provision does neither sustainably reduce misperception nor curb populism.

Keywords: Perception; Income; Populism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 D72 D91 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pol
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DOI: 10.25972/OPUS-32169

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