Pedro Bordalo, Marco Tabellini, David Yang, 20 January 2021

Our beliefs about one another’s political attitudes tend to be substantially mis-calibrated. This column analyses the factors shaping voters’ ideas about the political attitudes of other voters among the US electorate. Starting from the premise that individuals are not equally interested in all issues, it finds that when issue salience changes, beliefs about political groups can shift dramatically even when the underlying fundamentals remain the same. Meanwhile, the removal of a perceived external threat can induce citizens to perceive one another as further apart on domestic issues, undermining a country’s social cohesion. 

Thorsten Beck, Orkun Saka, Paolo Volpin, 10 July 2020

A rapidly expanding literature has shown the importance of political economy factors for legislative and regulatory actions in the financial sector and ultimately financial sector stability and efficiency. This column reports on recent research in this field, presented at the first London Political Finance, including work on financial fragility leading to the rise of right-wing extremist parties, private interests in financial regulation, financial gains from political connections, political beliefs and financial decisions and the role of media in financial decisions.  It lays out some of the important takeaways and suggests directions for further research that can shed light on the remaining issues.

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