DP14348 The Polarization of Reality

Author(s): Alberto F Alesina, Armando Miano, Stefanie Stantcheva
Publication Date: January 2020
Keyword(s): beliefs, Perceptions, Political Views, redistribution, Wealth Taxation
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14348

Americans are polarized not only in their views on policy issues and attitudes towards government and society, but also in their perceptions of the same factual reality. We conceptualize how to think about the ``polarization of reality'' and review recent papers that show that Republicans and Democrats view the same reality through a different lens. Perhaps as a result, they hold different views about policies and what should be done to address economic and social issues. We also show that providing information leads to different reassessments of reality and different responses along the policy support margin, depending on one's political leaning.