Cournot seminar – Jan Firdmuc (LEM, U. de Lille)
From 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Event details :
Who Believes in Conspiracy Theories, and Why? joint with Olga Zajkowska
Beliefs in various conspiracy theories, from flat earth to QAnon, are wide-spread and can have important political and socio-economic consequences. However, little is known about what factors predispose people adopt such beliefs. We use the crash of the Polish presidential plane near Smolenks, Russia, on 10th April 2010, to investigate this question. The official Polish and Russian investigations attributed the crash to pilot error compounded by bad weather. Many Poles, however, believe that the crash was the result of a conspiracy between the Polish and Russian governments to murder the Polish president. We use a unique individual-level panel dataset to investigate which socio-economic characteristics correlate with switching in beliefs in this conspiracy theory. We find that believing in the conspiracy theory is positively correlated with age, religiosity and rural status and negatively correlated with education. We also find that those inclined to accept the conspiracy theory tend to display similar characteristics as those who abandon conspiracy beliefs. Adopting and shedding conspiracy beliefs are thus similar processes: conspiracy believers are open to persuasion and manipulation. Effective education and communication could reverse the spread of conspiracy theories.
More about Jan Firdmuc: http://www.fidrmuc.net/
Cournot Seminar – 2023/24 agenda : https://beta-economics.fr/seminaires-cournot-2023-2024/