Theme: Political Economy | Content Type: Journal article

Do People Really Lack Knowledge About the Economy? A Reply to Facchini

Anna Killick


Sumudu Mohottige

| 1 min read


Facchini uses a behavioural approach to analyse the political beliefs of French people, who he believes are ‘more or less incompetent’ in economics. In this article I focus on his premise that the public are incompetent and that therefore their views, such as being opposed to the market in the case of the French people, should be interpreted as ‘perception bias’. Other economists may echo Facchini, claiming that people who voted Leave in the UK and for Trump in the USA did so because their lack of economic knowledge contributed to an ‘anti-foreign bias’. However, I argue here that the existing empirical research showing that people lack economic knowledge is flawed. Many economists adopt a questionable approach to the interpretation of public knowledge and the evaluation of what knowledge is important.

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  • Anna Killick

    Anna Killick

    Anna Killick is Collections Editor at the Political Quarterly. She is also a Research Fellow working on perceptions of the economy at University College London.

    Articles by Anna Killick