Differing conceptions of the causes of the economic crisis: Effects of culture, economic training, and personal impact

David Leiser, Rinat Benita, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report findings from a survey regarding the lay perception of the causes of the worldwide economic and financial crisis. Respondents (N = 2245) from a variety of countries were included: China (Hong Kong), Turkey, Russia, Israel, Germany, USA, and France. We have previously documented a range of factors that affects lay understanding of the crisis The present study expanded the database and focuses on the combination of factors that jointly predict whether the respondents view the crisis as a complex impersonal system that malfunctioned, or hold a moral/intentional view about its origins. We show that respondents from Western World countries, who were unaffected by the crisis and have economic training, interpret the crisis differently from all other respondents (i.e., those living in Turkey, Russia, or Hong Kong, and those who were personally affected by the crisis or without economic training). These differences have important implications on how policies are perceived and evaluated by the public, and should inform how they are presented to the public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Volume53
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Classification tree analysis
  • Culture
  • Financial crisis
  • Lay understanding
  • Naive economic cognition
  • Social representations

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