Economics

Helena Roy

Information, Beliefs and Preferences in the US and UK Healthcare Systems
2022–23 Survey Lab Project

The UK and US have arrived at two highly disparate healthcare systems. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare to patients “from cradle to grave,” free at the point of delivery, and is often held up as the epitome of fully socialized healthcare. In the US, though private and socialized healthcare co-exist, further socialization of healthcare is a contentious issue that has often dominated and divided political narratives. In this project, I ask: What role do citizens’ information, beliefs, and preferences play in explaining the differences between the US and UK healthcare systems? I generate evidence using surveys run on representative samples in the US and UK.

Misperceived Polarization in the US: The Role of Selection Neglect
2021 American Democracy Fellowship

In collaboration with Matt Brown.

Inference Under Selection: An Application to Social Media and Partisan Polarization
2020–21 Survey Lab Project

In collaboration with Matt Brown (Department of Economics).

We are researching how social media might contribute to partisan polarization in the U.S. Most people in the U.S. believe that their political opponents are more extreme than they really are. These misperceptions may have negative consequences for civic discourse and polarization. Where do partisan misperceptions come from? We study the role of selection neglect. If only the most extreme people talk about politics, people may mistakenly infer that the average partisan is similar to the average partisan whom they hear speaking (people forget that they are observing a selected sample). Our online experiment quantifies the importance of selection neglect. The findings will provide insights on the effects of social media on polarization and the optimal design of interventions to reduce partisan misperceptions.

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