Political polarization in the United States
On Wednesday 12 June 2019 Ingar Kyrkjebø Haaland will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.
Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:
Theories and empirical strategies to detect discrimination
08:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH
Title of the thesis:
Essays on Beliefs and Political Behavior
This thesis studies political polarization in the United States with a particular focus on the role of beliefs in driving people’s policy preferences. It contains three chapters that provide results from experiments conducted on large representative samples of Americans.
The first chapter studies whether the political disagreement on support for pro-black policies is driven by differences in beliefs about racial discrimination. From a representative sample of Americans, the authors elicit quantitative and incentivized beliefs about racial discrimination in hiring. The authors then correct people’s beliefs by providing a random subsample of the respondents with information about the true extent of racial discrimination in hiring. The main result of the chapter is that correcting biases in beliefs about the extent of racial discrimination in hiring is not sufficient to reduce political polarization in support for pro-black policies.
The second chapter studies whether beliefs about the labor market of immigrants drive people’s support for immigration. The authors first elicit people’s beliefs about how a large and unexpected influx of Cuban immigrants to Miami, Florida affected wages and unemployment in Miami. The authors then provide a random subsample of respondents with information that the large influx of Cuban immigrants had no adverse labor market impacts. The main result of the chapter is that people who learn that immigration does not have adverse labor market impacts substantially increase their support for immigration.
The third chapter explores how beliefs about behavioral responses to taxation and preferences over equality–efficiency trade-offs relate to the political disagreement on redistribution. The authors find that while Republicans and Democrats have very different equality–efficiency preferences, they have virtually identical beliefs about behavioral responses to taxation. The main finding of the chapter is that the political divide on redistribution relates more to people's preferences than to their beliefs about the behavioral responses to taxation.
10:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH
Members of the evaluation committee:
Professor Katrine Vellesen Løken (leader of the committee), Department of Economics and Centre of Excellence FAIR, NHH
Professor Jo Thori Lind, Department of Economics, University in Oslo
Professor Eliana La Ferrara, Department of Economics, Bocconi University
Professor Alexander W. Cappelen (main supervisor), Department of Economics and Centre of Excellence FAIR, NHH
Professor Björn Bartling, Department of Economics, University of Zurich
The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from firstname.lastname@example.org.