Jonathan Portes's picture
Affiliation: 
KIng's College, London
Credentials: 
Professor of Econoics and Public Policy

Voting history

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

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Question 7: Voters did not know that there was near-unanimity among economists.

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:
Very confident

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Question 6: Economists did not explain the reasons for this consensus in sufficiently clear language.

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 Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident

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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:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not 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:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not 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:
A. Non-economic reasons more important
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
This is primarily a question for political scientists and/or sociologists rather than economists. My reading of the research and analysis published to data is that identity/cultural issues were determinative - certainly in the sense that, had the referendum been solely on the question of "is the EU good for the UK economy", I think Remain would have won reasonably clearly. Of course, these non-economic factors cannot be entirely or cleanly separated from economic ones. See for example the work by Matt Goodwin of the University of Kent: http://www.matthewjgoodwin.org/uploads/6/4/0/2/64026337/political_quarterly_version_1_9.pdf

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