About one-third of Americans “agree” or “strongly agree” that the economy is a zero-sum game, meaning that for someone to win, someone must lose.
This number is even higher when Democrats talk about different ethnic groups, and even higher when Republicans talk about immigrants who are not U.S. citizens.
Researchers Sahil Chinoy and Stephanie Stancheva of Harvard University, Sandra Sequeira of the London School of Economics, and Nathan Nunn of the Vancouver School of Economics are among more than 20,000 U.S. residents. This decision was made based on a survey conducted on
About 31% of Americans told pollsters they agreed or strongly agreed that “when one ethnic group becomes richer, it generally comes at the expense of other groups in the country.”
And that number rose to 40% among people who identify as Democrats, while only 30% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Meanwhile, 35% of all Americans and 46% of Republicans agree that even if non-citizens are better off economically, it will generally be at the expense of American citizens. Agree or strongly agree.
The numbers are similar in international trade, where 33% feel that when one country makes more money, other countries generally earn less.
Meanwhile, more than two in five, or 43%, of those surveyed also felt that when people in one “income class” become wealthier, “it usually comes at the expense of other groups.” ing.
“The data indicate the existence of a common zero-sum worldview…which has the greatest explanatory power and influences respondents’ perceptions of relationships between individuals or groups in different scenarios.” they are writing.
“We found that individuals who view the world from a more zero-sum perspective tend to support policies that redistribute income from the rich to the poor and redistribute access to resources to disadvantaged groups.” they wrote, adding: Health care, affirmative action for women and African Americans. They also tend to support more restrictive immigration policies. ”
The survey, distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that belief in “zero-sum” economics is higher among young people than among older people. The researchers hypothesized that this may be because younger Americans have experienced slower economic growth over the past two decades, while older Americans remember rapid post-war growth. The researchers did not develop the alternative hypothesis that this was a function of experience. Older Americans have seen the consequences of economic growth for a long time.
Belief in zero-sum economics was also higher among the three ethnic groups, according to the researchers. The most notable were black Americans.
“Of all racial groups in the United States, black respondents are considered the most zero-sum, on average.” [and] “Among black respondents, those with enslaved ancestors have a more zero-sum worldview,” they write.
Researchers found that zero-sum thinking is more common in other groups, such as Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and immigrants from other countries that also had slavery in 1860.
It was also common among white people whose ancestors immigrated from the American South, especially when they brought large amounts of “Confederate culture” with them to new areas, the researchers said.
“Respondents who grew up or had ancestors who grew up in counties with higher proportions of southern white immigrants have stronger zero-sum thinking,” they write. “The same pattern emerges when looking at respondents and their ancestors who grew up in counties with a stronger ‘Confederate culture,'” they added.
On the other hand, zero-sum thinking was least common among many immigrant groups, especially Asian Americans, the authors report.
The authors claim that their findings account for a variety of factors. Why do high-income young people in big cities support more “redistributive” economic policies, even at their own expense? The authors find that they tend to lean toward zero-sum thinking did. On the other hand, researchers found that many rural whites, including low-income people, were less likely to believe in zero-sum economics. The authors agree that this may help explain why many people oppose redistributive policies.
The authors find that more zero-sum Democrats are more likely to support immigration restrictions. They also found that more zero-sum Republicans were more likely to support trade wars and redistributionist policies.
Researchers determined that people with a zero-sum mindset, including Democrats, were far more likely to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Zero-sum thinking may have its roots in the first 300,000 years of humanity. At that time, humans basically lived in agricultural tribes and villages, and economic growth was virtually zero.
As late as 1800, many economists were still thinking in terms of “mercantilism.” This means that some societies get rich at the expense of others, and Thomas Malthus argued that the world is not productive enough to feed more people.
Hundreds of years ago, the exponential economic growth that first began in Western Europe, largely due to the Industrial Revolution, had no precedent. Apparently human thinking is still struggling to adapt.
Of course, it is entirely possible to steal from others and become richer. Bank robbery is a zero-sum business. However, most modern economic activity in free societies is positive sum. Both parties benefit.
That’s why per capita income in the United States has doubled over the past 40 years, even after accounting for the effects of inflation, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.
#Onethird #Americans #economy #zerosum #game