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Journal Article

Information and anti-American attitudes

Authors

Publication date

May 2018

Summary

This paper investigates how attitudes towards the United States are affected by provision of information. We generate a “panel” of attitudes in urban Pakistan, in which respondents are randomly exposed to fact-based statements describing the US in either a positive or negative light. Anti-American sentiment is high and heterogenous in our sample at the baseline, and systematically correlated with intended behavior (such as intended migration to the US). We find that revised attitudes are significantly different from baseline attitudes: attitudes are, on average, revised upward (downward) upon receipt of positive (negative) information, indicating that providing information had a meaningful effect on US favorability. The within-subject design and data on respondents’ priors allows us to investigate the underlying mechanisms. We find that revisions are largely a result of salience-based updating. We reject unbiased information-based updating as the only source of revisions. In addition, a substantial proportion of individuals do not respond to the information. This heterogeneity in revision processes means that there is no convergence in attitudes following the provision of information.

Published in

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

Volume and page numbers

149 , 1 -31

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.03.002

ISSN

16

Subjects

Public Opinion, Information Networks, and Economics

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - http://catalogue.essex.ac.uk/record=b1646363~S5

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