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F. Felici and E. Nicosia: The Credibility Legacy

In the last decade, citizens’ trust of economic experts has considerably declined. Even though the cause of this situation has not yet been completely understood and investigated, the aim of this note is to analyse the possible explanations of this tendency. In this article, experts’ misjudgements regarding their analysis of events and the manner with which they relate to the public are examined, taking also into consideration how the social and economic context has impacted public opinion. We focus on technological advantages, such as the spread of social networks, which mutate the means of communication and influence popular beliefs. The difference between the perception of events in the real economy and those in the financial sector is also analysed. Our first considerations suggest that experts, to increase their credibility, should be humble, prudent and good communicators, and rely on models which include other variables in addition to economic ones (GDP), such as indicators of well-being and equity. Finally, we analyse the Italian situation and focus on the growing importance of NEET levels and the relative increasing cultural divide. We quote two examples of reforms, one negative and one positive, which prove the public’s inclination to change their appraisal of experts.

WORKING PAPER - The Credibility Legacy.pdf190.39 KB