Wednesday 3 June 2009

Ignorance and current events

Pew recently released a report on American public knowledge about current events. Respondents were asked some questions about the current state of the economy and about current political matters. You can try the survey here and rate yourself against the public at large. Summary results, without spoilers, below: I missed the one asking about number of troops killed in Iraq, but my answer was adjacent to the correct one.

Pew notes in its report that Republicans are more knowledgeable than Democrats, and that most of this advantage lies in greater knowledge of economic matters, but that controlling for income, age and education wipes out the party effect. They also find that men know a lot more about both politics and economics, with greater gaps in economic knowledge. My work in New Zealand finds that left-wing political ideology correlates with knowing more about politics but less about economics, controlling for all kinds of personal demographic characteristics; men know more about both, with bigger gaps in economic knowledge than in political knowledge.

Always interesting to find results that are consistent across countries and methodologies.

Apologies for the lack of posting of late: I've been rather busy doing up a more formal breakdown of the BERL report on the costs of alcohol use. It's looking like net external costs are about 10% of BERL's cost figure. More on this in a few days.

1 comment:

  1. 9/12. Got Afganistan, Timothy Geithner & Dow Jones wrong.