In the early transition phase in post-communist Europe, citizens’ perceptions of the national economy appeared more favorable than objective economic indicators would suggest. With triple and quadruple digit annual inflation rates and a severe economic contraction, there was a substantial portion of the population in these countries who still thought that the national economy had been and would be improving. Thus, sociotropic economic perceptions in the wake of the democratic transformation appeared to be disconnected from the real economic situation. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it explores the link between objective economic indicators and public evaluations of the economy. Second, it investigates the microfoundations of economic perceptions. And finally, it tests a well-established proposition that political sophisticates are more accurate in their perceptions than their less informed counterparts. The findings of the study can be generalized to any political and economic system undergoing transition.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 18, 2011
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