The project builds on the established knowledge that many people often have little knowledge of political and economic relationships. We want to investigate whether and to what extent incorrect information or a lack of understanding of economic mechanisms lead to citizens becoming more involved in “simple solutions”. We understand “simple solutions” as policy measures that seem to have a clearly defined goal, but which neglect important second-round effects or unintended side effects.
The present project would therefore like to contribute to a better understanding of the risky longing for simple solutions in economic policy and to show the connection to a country's ability to reform. The project is based on the conviction that a basic understanding of market mechanisms and the indirect effects of political interventions (“second-round effects”) will lead to a more rational policy and ultimately to a higher target achievement.
Building on the existing political and economic literature on the effects of information on political preferences, the researchers involved are developing a survey experiment to shed light on the effects of a lack of understanding of the economy and misinformation on a representative sample of the population in terms of their importance for political preferences.