Knowledge and Understanding
In the age of the Internet and IT revolution information is often overloaded. People can access lots of data that sometimes duplicate figures and increase confusion. To the question “do you prefer statistics or indicators?” people tend to answer “indicators”. Etymologically, an indicator is something providing indications, right directions. But indicators are also numerous and can give controversial messages. We are tempted to conclude that people are actually getting lost in this “ocean” of information. They are looking for effective, understandable and easily accessible indicators, but often they cannot find them. So, at the end they prefer following their opinions, beliefs, ideologies rather than making completely rational decisions as predicted by standard economic models. (The Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies)
Survey on "what people know"
Enrico Giovannini and Ayhan Uysal, "Statistics, Knowledge and Policy: What Do We Know About What People Know?" - OECD WORKSHOP ON BUSINESS AND CONSUMER TENDENCY SURVEYS, September 2006. The purpose of this paper is to present a proposal for a new international survey on what people in the general community know about key economic and social phenomena in their countries.[click here]
Alan S. Blinder and Alan B. Krueger, Working Paper - "What does the Public know about Economic Policy,and How it know it?", September 2004. Public opinion influences politicians, and therefore influences public policy decisions. What are the roles of self-interest, knowledge, and ideology in public opinion formation? And how do people learn about economic issues? Using a new, specially-designed survey, this paper shows that most respondents express a strong desire to be well informed on economic policy issues.[click here]
F. Fullone, M.Gamba, E. Giovannini and M. Malgarini, "What Do Citizens Know about statistics? The results of an OECD/ ISAE survey on Italian Consumers", May 2007. The recent literature on the relationships between public opinion, political choices and the functioning of modern democracies argues that there are big differences in what the general public and specialists, such as economists, think about key issues. Increasing attention is given to public opinion, even when it is poorly informed.[click here]
Richard Curtin, "What U.S. Consumers Know About Economic Conditions", June 2007. The acquisition of information about economic conditions has been a common facet of life since the dawn of civilization. Even before governments devised economic accounts, people utilized information about economic conditions in their decisions about bartering and trade, buying and selling, borrowing and lending, and many other economic decisions. Simply because it was not measured by an official statistical agency of the state, there is no reason to doubt that people sought out such information.[click here]
"Europeans' Knowledge of Economic Indicators" - Eurobarometer, European Commission, April 2008. This survey investigates about how data regarding social and economic progress, frequently used by decision-makers (for instance as a tool for evaluating policies), can be more widely disseminated among the general public.[click here]
OECD - ISAE Survey 2007. The scope was to investigate the level of knowledge and awareness of the basic economic figures by Italian consumers, adding some specific questions to the questionnaire normally used in its monthly survey on Italian consumers [click here]. Table
- Statistics and Knowledge and Understanding
- Physical and mental health
- Enrico Giovannini, Joaquim Oliveira Martins and Michela Gamba, Statistics, Knowledge and Governance, Paper from Workshop “Committing Science to Global Development” Lisbon, September 29-30, 2008.