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We Spend How Much? Misperceptions, Innumeracy, and Support for the Foreign Aid in the United States and Great Britain

Scotto, T; Reifler, J; Hudson, DE; VanHeerde-Hudson, J; (2017) We Spend How Much? Misperceptions, Innumeracy, and Support for the Foreign Aid in the United States and Great Britain. Journal of Experimental Political Science , 4 (2) pp. 119-128. 10.1017/XPS.2017.6. Green open access

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Abstract

Majorities of citizens in high-income countries often oppose foreign aid spending. One popular explanation is that the public overestimates the percentage and amount of taxpayer funds that goes toward overseas aid. Does expressing aid flows in dollar and/or percentage terms shift public opinion toward aid? We report the results of an experiment examining differences in support for aid spending as a function of the information American and British respondents receive about foreign aid spending. In both nations, providing respondents with information about foreign aid spending as a percentage of the national budget significantly reduces support for cuts. The findings suggest that support for aid can be increased, but significant opposition to aid spending remains.

Type: Article
Title: We Spend How Much? Misperceptions, Innumeracy, and Support for the Foreign Aid in the United States and Great Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/XPS.2017.6
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/XPS.2017.6
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041902
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