Annalee Newitz writes on io9.com:
People who grew up during the Great Depression often turned into compulsive penny-pinchers, unable to spend money without anxiety. Will recent recessions leave similar psychological scars on people growing up today? A new study by economists suggests they will.
The Boston Globe‘s Christopher Shea has a terrific discussion of the study on the Brainiac blog:
Giuliano and Spilimbergo made use of the General Social Survey, which has recorded political attitudes among the American public since 1972. The specific questions Giuliano and Spilimbergo explored were whether living through a recession in one’s “impressionable years”—defined as 18 to 25—influenced Americans’ views on the merits of economic redistribution; on whether financial success resulted largely from hard work or from luck; and on faith in public institutions. Attitudes were analyzed by region, to account for geographical discrepancies in American economic performance. And, because so many people have lived through at least one year of a recession, the study focused on the worst recessions: those in which GDP growth was -3.8 percent for at least one year.
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