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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 11 No. 3 (Summer 1997)


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Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy

Article Citation

Blendon, Robert J. 1997. "Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(3): 105-118.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.3.105


This paper reports the results of two parallel 1996 surveys, one of economists, one of the public. It finds that the public has a bleaker picture of what has happened economically to the average family and is more pessimistic than most economists about the intermediate future. The public cites different reasons than economists do for why the economy is not doing better. Also, individuals' perceptions of their own economic experiences yield a different set of beliefs about economic conditions than that described in official statistics. The authors offer possible explanations of the perception gap between the public and economists. Coauthors are John M. Benson, Mollyann Brodie, Richard Morin, Drew E. Altman, Daniel Gitterman, Mario Brossard, and Matt James.

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Blendon, Robert J. (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

A11: Role of Economics; Role of Economists


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