Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Correcting Myopia: Effect of Information Provision on Support for Preparedness Policy

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-12, 01:44 authored by N Weller, Thomas JamiesonThomas Jamieson
Some scholars argue that the public is generally myopic in their attitudes about disaster preparedness spending, because they prefer to spend money on disaster response rather than preparedness, despite the greater cost effectiveness of the later. Given voters’ general lack of policy information, it is possible that limited support for preparedness comes from lack of information about its efficacy. In this paper, we build on these studies by examining how people respond to new information about the effectiveness of policy initiatives in the context of public health and the COVID-19 pandemic. Through two online survey experiments with over 3400 respondents, we demonstrate that information can lead people to update attitudes about preparedness, illustrating the potential for information campaigns to increase support for preparedness policies. Our results suggest that information about the efficacy of preparedness can increase support for these policies, and the information effect exists even for individuals whose prior beliefs were that public health programs were ineffective. These results suggest that information can make people more supportive of preparedness spending, which could provide electoral incentives for its provision. We conclude by providing some directions for future research to enhance our understanding of public opinion and preparedness spending.


Preferred citation

Weller, N. & Jamieson, T. (2023). Correcting Myopia: Effect of Information Provision on Support for Preparedness Policy. Political Research Quarterly.

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Political Research Quarterly

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SAGE Publications

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Online publication date