NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Florian Zimmermann

Institute on Behavior
& Inequality (briq)
Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-9
53113 Bonn
Germany

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliations: University of Bonn and University of Bonn

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020Moral Universalism and the Structure of Ideology
with Benjamin Enke, Ricardo Rodríguez-Padilla: w27511
Throughout the Western world, people's policy views are correlated across domains in a strikingly similar fashion. This paper proposes that what partly explains the structure of ideology is moral universalism: the extent to which people's altruism and trust remain constant as social distance increases. In new large-scale multinational surveys, heterogeneity in universalism descriptively explains why the left and right both simultaneously support and oppose different types of government spending. Moreover, the left-right divide on topics such as redistribution strongly depends on whether people evaluate more or less universalist policies. Large-scale donation data provide additional evidence for the political left's universalism.
January 2020Associative Memory and Belief Formation
with Benjamin Enke, Frederik Schwerter: w26664
Information is often embedded in memorable contexts, which may cue the asymmetric recall of similar past news through associative memory. We design a theory-driven experiment, in which participants observe signals about hypothetical companies. Here, identical signal realizations are communicated with identical contexts: stories and images. Because participants asymmetrically remember those past signals that get cued by the current context, beliefs systematically overreact. This overreaction depends in predictable ways on the signal history; the correlation between signals and contexts; and the scope for forgetting and associative memory. We quantify these results by structurally estimating a model of associative recall.
 
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