HKS Affiliated Authors


November 15, 2023, Paper: "An individual’s views on economic policy could be shaped by ‘zero-sum thinking’: the view that any gain by one party necessitates a corresponding loss by another. This column explores the prevalence of zero-sum thinking in the US and its impact on policy preferences, through a survey of over 20,000 individuals. A zero-sum mindset is associated with more support for redistribution, greater endorsement of affirmative action, and less support for immigration. It is only weakly associated with political alignment. Zero-sum thinking can be traced to experiences with mass immigration, intergenerational economic mobility, and the legacy of enslavement."