What Makes People Think Like Economists? Evidence on Economic Cognition from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy
Posted: 30 Sep 2001
The positive economic beliefs of economists and the general public systematically differ. What factors make non-economists think more like economists? Using the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy, this paper shows people think more like economists: if they are well-educated; if they are male; if their real income rose over the last five years; if they expect their real income to rise over the next five years; or if they have high degrees of job security. However, neither high income nor ideological conservatism have this effect. My findings for education, gender, and income have close parallels in political science: on tests of objective political knowledge, the better-educated and males score higher, controlling for numerous other variables, and the independent effect of income is minor.
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