13 September 2018

Does exposing the population to factual information influence their support of economic policies? A CIRANO study answers this question by addressing the question of minimum wage in Quebec

With the emergence of the Internet and social media, all governments are facing a considerable challenge when it comes to informing the population on the relevance of their policies, and even more so during an election period. "In an era of fakes news and a certain cynicism towards politics reign, this CIRANO study attempts to better understand what drives support for economic policies. Is public support towards politics impacted by beliefs, knowledge of economic concepts and willingness to pay?" asks Claude Montmarquette, co-author of the study, Professor Emeritus at Université de Montréal and CIRANO Fellow. The study, using the case of the minimum wage increase as an example, leads to the conclusion that providing facts to the population proves to be a major determining factor for changes in terms of supporting and adhering to economic policies. In this context, focusing on the general education of the population and, in particular, increasing the level of economic literacy is crucial.

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