Public Understanding of Economics and Economic Statistics
Summary & aims
The research shows that large parts of the UK public have misperceptions about how economic figures, such as the unemployment and inflation rate, are collected and measured, and who they are produced and published by. This sometimes affected participants’ subsequent views of the perceived accuracy and reliability of economic statistics. Broadly, the focus groups suggested that people are often sceptical and cynical about any data they see, and that official economic data are subject to the same public scrutiny as any other data. In line with other research, the survey found consistent and substantial differences in economic knowledge and interest across different groups of the UK population.
The ESCoE report can be found here. The ESCoE blog can be found here. There is an overview of the media coverage here, including coverage from BBC Online, BBC Radio 4, Financial Times, Daily Mail and The Times. The author also wrote a feature in the Royal Economic Society newsletter here.