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Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy

The Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University Survey Project is a three-way partnership and an experiment in combining survey research and reporting to better inform the public. The Post, Kaiser, and Harvard jointly design and analyze surveys examining public knowledge, perceptions, and misperceptions on major issues. The Post then reports the results as well as the facts to dispel myths and correct misperceptions. We hope this project contributes to a better understanding of public knowledge on major issues facing the country, and to more effective efforts by the media to educate, inform, and engage citizens in national debates.

This survey, released by The Washington Post on Sunday, October 13th, 1996 examines public understanding, assessments and attitudes about the economy and economic policy. In conjunction with the survey of Americans, a companion survey of 250 economists was also completed. The companion survey shows the differences in perceptions and attitudes of economists from the general public. This report is of the actual questions and national topline data from both the general public survey and the survey of the economists.

The Washington Post articles:
A National That Poor-Mouths Its Good Times
The Economic Perception Gap
Learning Hard Lessons In Income, Education
The Great Divide

Topline (.pdf)