Identity and Inequality Misperceptions, Demographic Determinants and Efficacy of Corrective Measures

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


  • K. Peren Arin - , Zayed University, Australian National University (Autor:in)
  • Deni Mazrekaj - , Utrecht University, University of Oxford, KU Leuven (Autor:in)
  • Marcel Thum - , Professur für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Finanzwissenschaft, ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung e.V., Münchener Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wirtschaftswissenschaft - CESifo GmbH (Autor:in)
  • Juan A. Lacomba - , University of Granada (Autor:in)
  • Francisco Lagos - , University of Granada (Autor:in)


By conducting two waves of large-scale surveys in the United Kingdom and Germany, we investigate the determinants of identity and inequality misperceptions. We first show that people substantially overestimate the share of immigrants, Muslims, people under the poverty line, and the income share of the richest. Moreover, women, lower-income, and lower-educated respondents generally have higher misperceptions. Only income share misperceptions are associated more with people who place themselves on the left of the political spectrum. In contrast, the other three misperceptions are more prevalent among those who place themselves to the right. We then attempt to correct misperceptions by conducting a classic controlled experiment. Specifically, we randomly assign respondents into a treatment group informed about their initial misperceptions and a control group left uninformed. Our results indicate that information treatments had some corrective effects on misperceptions in Germany but were ineffective in the United Kingdom. Moreover, information treatments in Germany were more effective for men, centrists, and highly educated respondents. There is also no evidence of spill-over effects: correcting one misperception does not have corrective effects for the other misperceptions.


FachzeitschriftScientific Reports
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 29 Mai 2024

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-5071-7849/work/160953452
PubMed 38811678
unpaywall 10.1038/s41598-024-62046-7
Scopus 85194821044



  • Humans, Female, Male, Germany, United Kingdom, Socioeconomic Factors, Adult, Middle Aged, Surveys and Questionnaires, Income, Demography, Islam, Emigrants and Immigrants/psychology