To Credit or to Blame? The Asymmetric Impact of Government Responsibility in Economic News

Alyt Damstra*, Mark Boukes, Rens Vliegenthart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article studies the asymmetric effects of credit and blame attributions in economic news on government evaluations. We rely on a dataset combining a manual content analysis of Dutch economic news (print, television, online; N = 5,630) with a three-wave panel survey (N = 3,240) that was fielded in 2015. Results show that people who are exposed to news in which the government is blamed for the economy tend to adopt this frame by assigning responsibility to the government for the economic crisis. In addition, exposure to blame attributions leads to more negative government evaluations. This effect is partly mediated through the attribution of crisis responsibility. Credit attributions in the news do not have any effect on public opinion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

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