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Public opinion as nowcast: consistency and the role of news uncertainty

Easaw, Joshy and Heravi, Saeed 2020. Public opinion as nowcast: consistency and the role of news uncertainty. Journal of Mathematical Sociology 10.1080/0022250X.2020.1732371
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The purpose of this note is to consider the effect of perception noise when voters form public opinions. We provide a simple theoretical framework that will form the basis to investigate empirically the effect of news uncertainty on voters’ attentiveness when forming public opinion, or nowcasts. An attentive voter will consistently update their information set. Therefore, if voters’ nowcasts are consistent, any revision of the nowcasts must only reflect new information. We specifically consider how news uncertainty may affect voter attentiveness. The paper focuses on US presidential competence and popularity indices. We find that the nowcasts are consistent during periods of low news uncertainty but highly persistent when news uncertainty is high.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0022-250X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 17 February 2020
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 21:10

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