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Ideas, Analogical Reasoning and International Trade Attitudes: Evidence from a Survey Experiment
Unformatted Document Text:  TABLE 4: Percentage of Respondents Favoring Trade (Opposing Import Limits) Condition Percent of Respondents Favoring Trade (Opposing Import Limits) Control 44% Mercantilist “Trade is Like War” (war) 44% Comparative Advantage “Tiger woods” (woods) 44% Comparative Advantage “Bob Vila” (vila) 43% Given the nature of the treatments, however, it is worth investigating whether this overall result holds across the sample. The most obvious question is, did the respondents all read the messages contained within the treatments? Figure 1 shows, by condition, the percentage of respondents that spent at least 5, 30, 45 and 60 seconds on the screen they encountered. Evidently, attention is scarce. It indicates that while the experiment exposed all respondents to the treatments, a significant proportion chose not to spend much time reading or receiving the messages. Virtually all respondents spent at least 5 seconds on the screen, regardless of the condition. Most respondents in the control condition spent more than 5 but less than 30 seconds on the screen, as one would expect for a brief survey question. Respondents encountering the analogy treatments, in contrast, had to read just over 150 words (the treatment plus the question itself), consider them, and provide a response. Even with the relatively captive panel audience encountering these messages at the very beginning of a survey, many respondents evidently opted not to read them in detail. Only 51% in the “trade is like war” condition spent over 45 seconds on the 16

Authors: David, Lynch.
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TABLE 4: Percentage of Respondents Favoring Trade (Opposing Import Limits)
Condition
Percent of Respondents Favoring Trade
(Opposing Import Limits)
Control
44%
Mercantilist “Trade is Like
War” (war)
44%
Comparative Advantage “Tiger
woods” (woods)
44%
Comparative Advantage “Bob
Vila” (vila)
43%
Given the nature of the treatments, however, it is worth investigating whether this overall
result holds across the sample. The most obvious question is, did the respondents all read
the messages contained within the treatments? Figure 1 shows, by condition, the
percentage of respondents that spent at least 5, 30, 45 and 60 seconds on the screen they
encountered. Evidently, attention is scarce. It indicates that while the experiment exposed
all respondents to the treatments, a significant proportion chose not to spend much time
reading or receiving the messages. Virtually all respondents spent at least 5 seconds on
the screen, regardless of the condition. Most respondents in the control condition spent
more than 5 but less than 30 seconds on the screen, as one would expect for a brief
survey question. Respondents encountering the analogy treatments, in contrast, had to
read just over 150 words (the treatment plus the question itself), consider them, and
provide a response. Even with the relatively captive panel audience encountering these
messages at the very beginning of a survey, many respondents evidently opted not to read
them in detail. Only 51% in the “trade is like war” condition spent over 45 seconds on the
16


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