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Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 11
American Economic Association
The Role of Attitudes and Perceptions on Economic and Political Outcomes
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM (PDT)
- Chair: Paola Giuliano, University of California-Los Angeles
The Happiness Cost of Being Patient
AbstractWe study the potential psychological cost of being patient. The ability to sacrifice the present for the future has been shown to be important for various economic decisions, such as investment in human capital and saving behavior. We study the unintended consequence of patience by looking at several measures of well-being in a large sample of countries. We find that the relationship between patience and well-being is hump-shaped. Very impatient or very patient individuals have substantially lower well-being than moderately patient individuals.
Ancient Origins of the Global Variation in Economic Preferences
AbstractUsing novel globally representative preference data, this paper shows that the structure and timing of the migratory movements of our very early ancestors have left a footprint in the contemporary cross-country distributions of risk, time, and social preferences. Across a wide range of regression specifications, differences in preferences between populations are significantly increasing in the length of time elapsed since the respective groups shared common ancestors, as proxied by genetic, linguistic, and predicted migratory distance data. The results are strongest for risk aversion and the prosocial traits altruism, positive reciprocity, and trust; similar, but weaker, findings hold for patience and negative reciprocity. These patterns point to the very long-run roots of the global variation in preferences and associated economic behaviors.
The Polarization of Reality
AbstractIn this paper we review recent evidence suggesting that Americans are polarized not only about views on policies and attitudes towards government or society, but also about their perceptions of the same, factual reality. Republican and Democrats (as well as Trump and non-Trump voters since 2016) view the same reality through a different lens when it comes to inequality, social mobility, or immigration. Perhaps as a a result, they hold different views about policies and what should be done to address different economic and social issues.
- A1 - General Economics
- E0 - General