Department of Economics
Cambridge, MA 02138
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2020||The Polarization of Reality|
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Americans are polarized not only in their views on policy issues and attitudes towards government and society, but also in their perceptions of the same factual reality. We conceptualize how to think about the “polarization of reality” and review recent papers that show that Republicans and Democrats view the same reality through a different lens. Perhaps, as a result, they hold different views about policies and what should be done to address economic and social issues. We also show that providing information leads to different reassessments of reality and different responses along the policy support margin, depending on one's political leaning.
Published: Alberto Alesina & Armando Miano & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2020. "The Polarization of Reality," AEA Papers and Proceedings, vol 110, pages 324-328. citation courtesy of
|June 2018||Immigration and Redistribution|
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We design and conduct large-scale surveys and experiments in six countries to investigate how natives perceive immigrants and how these perceptions influence their preferences for redistribution. We find strikingly large misperceptions about the number and characteristics of immigrants: in all countries, respondents greatly overestimate the total number of immigrants, think immigrants are culturally and religiously more distant from them, and are economically weaker -- less educated, more unemployed, and more reliant on and favored by government transfers -- than is the case. Given the very negative baseline views that respondents have of immigrants, simply making them think about immigration before asking questions about redistribution, in a randomized manner, makes them support less redi...
|November 2016||Is it the "How" or the "When" that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?|
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Using data from 16 OECD countries from 1981 to 2014 we study the effects on output of fiscal adjustments as a function of the composition of the adjustment – that is, whether the adjustment is mostly based on spending cuts or on tax hikes – and of the state of the business cycle when the adjustment is implemented. We find that both the “how” and the “when” matter, but the heterogeneity related to the composition is more robust across different specifications. Adjustments based upon permanent spending cuts are consistently much less costly than those based upon permanent tax increases. Our results are generally not explained by different reactions of monetary policy. However, when the domestic central bank can set interest rates – that is outside of a currency union – it appears to be able ...
Published: Alberto Alesina & Gualtiero Azzalini & Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi & Armando Miano, 2018. "Is it the “How” or the “When” that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?," IMF Economic Review, vol 66(1), pages 144-188. citation courtesy of