Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/185755
Authors: 
Le Yaouanq, Yves
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper No. 85
Abstract: 
This paper develops a theory in which heterogeneity in political preferences produces a partisan disagreement about objective facts. A political decision involving both idiosyncratic preferences and scientific knowledge is considered. Voters form motivated beliefs in order to improve their subjective anticipation of the future political outcome. In equilibrium, they tend to deny the scientific arguments advocating the political orientations that run counter to their interests. Collective denial is the strongest in societies where contingent policy is the least likely to be implemented, either because of voters\' intrinsic preferences or because of rigidities in the political process. The theory predicts that providing mixed evidence produces a temporary polarization of beliefs, but that disclosing unequivocal information eliminates the disagreement.
Subjects: 
beliefs
ideology
cognition
disagreement
polarization
JEL: 
D72
D81
D83
D84
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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