chapter  6
15 Pages

Bridging the gap between the public’s and the economists’ views of the economy

ByROBERT J. BLENDON, JOHN M. BENSON, MOLLYANN BRODIE, RICHARD MORIN, EW E. ALTMAN, DANIEL GITTERMAN, MARIO BROSSARD, MATT JAMES

Over the past two decades, a substantial body of research has emerged showing that public opinion has a major influence on many public policy decisions, including in the area of economic policy (Monroe 1979, 1983; Page and Shapiro 1983; Shapiro and Jacobs 1989; Wright, Erikson, and McIver 1987; Erikson, Wright, and McIver 1989; Page and Shapiro 1992; Jacobs and Shapiro 1989, 1997). In addition, the public’s views about the economy are often cited as being especially important to elected officials because of the pivotal role perceptions about economic conditions play in determining the outcome of elections (Fair 1978, 1996; Lewis-Beck and Rice 1992).