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Ideas, Analogical Reasoning and International Trade Attitudes: Evidence from a Survey Experiment
Unformatted Document Text:  usual demographic variables (e.g., age, educational attainment, party affiliation, etc.), the survey also asked respondents several other questions relating to their trade attitudes, including the ones coded as follows: • mcrt – This is a modified version of the 3-item “Cognitive Reflection Test” (MCRT) and acts as a rough measure of cognitive ability or “cognitive reflection”. 22 The actual items from the test are listed in Appendix 2. To my knowledge, this is the first time that a variant of this test has been used with a nationally representative sample. The distribution of MCRT scores is discussed in detail below. The variable represents respondents’ score on the test on a scale of 0 to 3. • jobsecurity (binary) – This question asked respondents how concerned they were about their job security on a 5-point scale ranging from “Not concerned at all” to “Very concerned”. Since almost all respondents provided an answer to this question (whether employed or not, according to other survey data), this variable has been coded for the time being as a binary variable, with 1 representing responses of 4 or 5 (i.e., more than “Somewhat concerned”), and 0 representing responses of 3 or less. • jobimports (binary) – This question asked respondents whether they thought increased imports made their jobs more secure or less secure on a 5-point scale ranging from “Much more secure” to “Much less secure”, with the middle category being “Neither more secure nor less secure.” As with the job security question almost all respondents provided an answer to this question (whether employed or not, according to other survey data), so this variable too has been coded for the time being as a binary variable, with 1 representing responses who provided an answer of 4 or 5 (i.e., “Somewhat less secure” or “Much less secure”), and 0 representing responses of 3 or less. • union (binary) – This is a variable maintained by the survey company indicating whether the respondent is a member of a union or not. Additional variables of interest were also captured in the survey. 23 Finally, the survey also recorded how long, in seconds, each respondent spent on the screens with each of the 22 Based on Frederick (2005). The first question was changed because it appeared to present difficulties for respondents in pretests; however, such concerns were later discovered to be unfounded. The first question was obtained from Frederick and was part of a longer version of the published CRT. 23 These include age, educational attainment, living in a metropolitan area, household income categories, party identification and others. The benchmark regression models included in this preliminary analysis do not include all of them, though the others do not appear to bear heavily on the results at this stage. Risk aversion was also assessed using a 7-point scale version experimentally validated survey question about “willingness to take risks” from Dohmen, Falk, Huffman, Schupp, Sunde and Wagner (2006), and is included in the subsequent analyses. 9

Authors: David, Lynch.
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usual demographic variables (e.g., age, educational attainment, party affiliation, etc.), the
survey also asked respondents several other questions relating to their trade attitudes,
including the ones coded as follows:
mcrt – This is a modified version of the 3-item “Cognitive Reflection
Test” (MCRT) and acts as a rough measure of cognitive ability or “cognitive
reflection”.
The actual items from the test are listed in Appendix 2. To my
knowledge, this is the first time that a variant of this test has been used with a
nationally representative sample. The distribution of MCRT scores is
discussed in detail below. The variable represents respondents’ score on the
test on a scale of 0 to 3.
jobsecurity (binary) – This question asked respondents how concerned they
were about their job security on a 5-point scale ranging from “Not concerned
at all” to “Very concerned”. Since almost all respondents provided an answer
to this question (whether employed or not, according to other survey data),
this variable has been coded for the time being as a binary variable, with 1
representing responses of 4 or 5 (i.e., more than “Somewhat concerned”), and
0 representing responses of 3 or less.
jobimports (binary) – This question asked respondents whether they thought
increased imports made their jobs more secure or less secure on a 5-point
scale ranging from “Much more secure” to “Much less secure”, with the
middle category being “Neither more secure nor less secure.” As with the job
security question almost all respondents provided an answer to this question
(whether employed or not, according to other survey data), so this variable too
has been coded for the time being as a binary variable, with 1 representing
responses who provided an answer of 4 or 5 (i.e., “Somewhat less secure” or
“Much less secure”), and 0 representing responses of 3 or less.
union (binary) – This is a variable maintained by the survey company
indicating whether the respondent is a member of a union or not.
Additional variables of interest were also captured in the survey.
Finally, the survey also
recorded how long, in seconds, each respondent spent on the screens with each of the
22
Based on Frederick (2005). The first question was changed because it appeared to present difficulties for
respondents in pretests; however, such concerns were later discovered to be unfounded. The first question
was obtained from Frederick and was part of a longer version of the published CRT.
23
These include age, educational attainment, living in a metropolitan area, household income categories,
party identification and others. The benchmark regression models included in this preliminary analysis do
not include all of them, though the others do not appear to bear heavily on the results at this stage. Risk
aversion was also assessed using a 7-point scale version experimentally validated survey question about
“willingness to take risks” from Dohmen, Falk, Huffman, Schupp, Sunde and Wagner (2006), and is
included in the subsequent analyses.
9


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