The Effect of Economic Change and Elite Framing on Economic Preferences: A Survey Experiment

19 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014

See all articles by Paul Marx

Paul Marx

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Gijs Schumacher

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Social Sciences

Abstract

An unresolved question in political science is how economic downturns affect citizens' economic left-right preferences. Existing observational studies fail to isolate the effect of economic conditions and the effect of elite framing of these conditions. We therefore designed a survey experiment to evaluate how economic change in conjunction with different elite frames impact on citizens' preferences for economic policies. We hypothesise and demonstrate that the effects of these frames differ by income group and partisanship. Our survey experiment – carried out in the UK – demonstrates that poor economic prospects motivate support for unemployment benefits vis-à-vis deficit reduction. Emphasis on government debt and deficits increases support for the latter policy option. Also, we find support for the hypothesis that partisans are less responsive to the economy than independents.

Keywords: economic preferences, economic crises, elite framing, survey experiment, UK

JEL Classification: D72, Z18

Suggested Citation

Marx, Paul and Schumacher, Gijs, The Effect of Economic Change and Elite Framing on Economic Preferences: A Survey Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7979. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2403116

Paul Marx (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Gijs Schumacher

VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Social Sciences ( email )

De Boelelaan 1081
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands

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