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  1. Bruno Fernandes

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Description: The “objective” economy and how the media portrays it are sometimes different, and citizens’ approval of incumbents may be less influenced by economic developments on the ground than by the “mediated economy”. In this study, using evidence from Portugal from 2001 to 2018, we examine whether our ability to predict approval is improved when, instead of using the revised — and most accurate — data on GDP growth, we employ the economic information that was made available to the public. Among that information, we include both the first estimates of recent growth and the information about future growth contained in economic forecasts. We conclude that approval is best predicted by information about forecasted growth for the current year. We thus obtain indirect evidence about the importance of the mediated economy, the role of economic forecasts in shaping it, and the importance that future economic conditions have for voters.


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