Discussion Paper

Introducing the SCE Public Policy Survey


Abstract: Households cope with considerable uncertainty in forming plans and making decisions. This includes uncertainty about their personal situations as well as about their external environment. An important source of uncertainty arises from (often abrupt) changes in government policy, including changes in tax rates and in the benefit level of social programs. Tracking individuals? subjective beliefs about future policy changes is important for understanding their behavior as consumers and workers. For example, knowing the extent to which tax changes and other shifts in public policy are anticipated is important for understanding their impacts on spending, work, and savings decisions. When fully anticipated, a change in a policy may generate little change in behavior at the point it is implemented, while showing more noticeable impacts when first discussed or announced. Indeed, our previous research has shown that the ultimate magnitude and timing of a policy change?s impact on economic outcomes will depend strongly on the degree to which it was anticipated.

Keywords: SCE Public Policy Survey; Medicare reform; Wilbert van der Klaauw; Center for Microeconomic Data; Survey of Consumer Expectations; minimum wage policy; Social Security reform; public policy outlook; Medicare expansion; Gizem Kosar;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2019-10-17

Number: 20191017