Overconfidence in Political Behavior and its Effects on Ideological Extremeness and Voter Turnout

From Pietro Ortoleva and Erik Snowberg:

This paper studies, theoretically and empirically, the role of overconfidence in political behavior. Our model of overconfidence in beliefs predicts that overconfidence leads to ideological extremeness, increased voter turnout, and increased strength of partisan identification. Moreover, the model makes many nuanced predictions about the patterns of ideology in society, and over a person’s lifetime. These predictions are tested using unique data that measure the overconfidence, and standard political character- istics, of a nationwide sample of over 3,000 adults. Our numerous predictions find strong support in these data. In particular, we document that overconfidence is a substantively and statistically important predictor of ideological extremeness and voter turnout.

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The Impact of the Work of Gary Becker

“It [economics] is judged ultimately by how well it helps us understand the world, and how well we can help improve it.” – Gary Becker

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A few useful job market resources

Originally posted on owenzidar:

I’ll post more on this topic after the job market, but here are a few links that I have found helpful

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Developments in Economics, 1950-1990

From Jim Heckman’s retrospective on Gary Becker:developments3

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Risk and Information in the Municipal Bond Market

NBER Reporter 2014 Number 3: Research Summary.

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Declining Savings Among the Bottom 90%

Screenshot 2014-10-18 21.25.21

From Saez and Zucman (2014)

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Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data

From Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman:

This paper combines income tax returns with Flow of Funds data to estimate the distribution of household wealth in the United States since 1913. We estimate wealth by capitalizing the incomes reported by individual taxpayers, accounting for assets that do not generate taxable income. We successfully test our capitalization method in three micro datasets where we can observe both income and wealth: the Survey of Consumer Finance, linked estate and income tax returns, and foundations’ tax records. Wealth concentration has followed a U-shaped evolution over the last 100 years: It was high in the beginning of the twentieth century, fell from 1929 to 1978, and has continuously increased since then. The rise of wealth inequality is almost entirely due to the rise of the top 0.1% wealth share, from 7% in 1979 to 22% in 2012—a level almost as high as in 1929. The bottom 90% wealth share first increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined. The increase in wealth concentration is due to the surge of top incomes combined with an increase in saving rate inequality. Top wealth-holders are younger today than in the 1960s and earn a higher fraction of total labor income in the economy. We explain how our findings can be reconciled with Survey of Consumer Finances and estate tax data.

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