|A 711, Dauphine|
Thinking about Public Ownership
We report the results of an online experiment that tests the impact of an economic expert argument against a "populist" argument. Using a representative sample of the Spanish population collected by a specialized firm, we subject one third of the sample to basic neutral information about public and private ownership of water in Spain, another third with the same information together with a "populist" argument in favour of re-municipalization, and another third to the two previous pieces plus an expert economic argument that is agnostic between types of ownership. The population is vulnerable to the populist argument, but this is completely neutralized when supplemented with an expert economic argument.