Jagjit Chadha's picture
Affiliation: 
National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Are academic economists ‘in touch’ with voters and politicians?

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Question 5: Voters think that the preferences of economists do not align with their own preferences. (This includes the possibility that they thought that the predicted negative economic consequences would not affect them personally).

Do you agree this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Confident

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Question 4: Voters did not believe the economic arguments put forward (for example, because they thought the arguments put forward by macroeconomists with dissenting views made more sense or because voters have little faith in economists in general).

Do you agree that this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident

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Question 3: Voters chose to leave the EU for non-economic reasons.

Do you agree that this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident

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Question 2: What do you think is the most likely reason that a majority of UK voters went against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
C. Different preferences
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Those who voted for Leave were registering a protest vote about so many aspects of the recent past, from regional inequality, to the a sense of exclusion to a statement about a lack of national cohesiveness in the face of financial crisis and increasing globalisation. It was not simply a vote about the economic risks of leaving the EU.

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Question 1: Do you agree that the economics profession needs an institutional change that promotes the ability to communicate more effectively with policy-makers and the public at large and to make clear when economists have a united view; and do you agree that we need to introduce leadership to help achieve this improvement through coordinated efforts?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Economics plays a dominant role in national political debates. And much time is devoted in the media to economic arguments by academics, market economists and people from lobby groups - and earlier in the Spring, the risks of leaving were probably made clear. But once the referendum was announced, and particularly when purdah was introduced, the politicians were given the upper hand, which meant that equal time was given to those on the Remain and Leave side rather than time being allocated to reflect the balance of economic arguments. We need to develop a co-ordinated approach with media that gives us more time and space to get our arguments across at times of national urgency. There is still time.

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