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Trade-offs between civil liberties and national security A discrete choice experiment

We explore differences in perception of national security policies between self-identified liberals, moderates, and conservatives from a national sample of U.S. adults. Using a discrete choice experiment, we also quantify each group's willingness to trade off select policies in exchange for reduced risk of a 9/11-style terrorist attack. Relative to other groups, liberals are more likely to view such policies as ineffective and susceptible to government abuse. They also perceive a lower threat of terrorism. All groups are willing to make trade-offs between civil liberties and risk of a terrorist attack. However, loss of civil liberties affects liberals more than conservatives. (JEL D61, H41, H56)


Finkelstein, E. A., Mansfield, C., Wood, D., Rowe, B., Chay, J., & Ozdemir, S. (2017). Trade-offs between civil liberties and national security: A discrete choice experiment. Contemporary Economic Policy, 35(2), 292-311. DOI: 10.1111/coep.12188

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