Hindsight Bias and Trust in Government
We empirically assess whether hindsight bias affects citizens' evaluation of their political actors. Using an incentivized elicitation technique, we demonstrate that people systematically misremember their past policy preferences regarding how to best fight the Covid-19 pandemic. At the peak of the first wave in the United States, the average respondent mistakenly believes they supported significantly stricter restrictions at the onset of the first wave than they actually did. Exogenous variation in the extent of hindsight bias, induced through a randomized survey experiment, allows us to show that hindsight bias causally reduces peoples' trust in government.