ERIC Number: ED381455
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Economic Knowledge, Economic Education and Public Opinion on Economic Issues.
Walstad, William B.
This research study was based upon a national survey in March 1992, conducted to assess the economic literacy of the U.S. public. The survey data were used to measure the economic knowledge of the public, to identify factors that affect economic knowledge, and to evaluate the influence of economic knowledge on public opinion about current economic issues. The survey data were collected by The Gallup Organization via telephone interviews from a national random sample of 1,005 adults aged 18 years or older. The survey instrument, developed by a national committee of 10 economists drawn from education, business, and labor, contained 46 questions that tested economic knowledge, sought opinions on economics issues, and gathered information on background characteristics, such as education and income of respondents. The public showed significant deficiencies in their knowledge and awareness of basic economics in such areas as unemployment, inflation, and economic growth. All survey respondents had strong opinions about economic issues despite having limited economic knowledge. Economic illiteracy has the potential to misshape public opinion on economic issues and lead to policies that have negative or perverse effects on the economy and on economic institutions. Contains 8 tables. (EH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Economics Association (Chicago, IL, March 26, 1994).