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Is There a Free-Market Economist in the House?

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Charlotta Stern, Daniel Klein, Företagandets villkor, Frihandel, Partisympatier

Abstract

People often suppose or imply that free-market economists constitute a significant portion of all economists. We surveyed American Economic Association members and asked their views on 18 specific forms of government activism. We find that about 8 percent of AEA members can be considered supporters of free-market principles, and that less than 3 percent may be called strong supporters. The data are broken down by voting behavior (Democratic or Republican). Even the average Republican AEA member is “middle-of-the-road,” not free-market. We offer several possible explanations of the apparent difference between actual and attributed views.

Klein, D. & Stern, C. (2007). ”Is There a Free-Market Economist in the House?”American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 66(2): 309-334.

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Working Paper No. 81. Sociology and Classical Liberalism
Working paperPublication
Klein, D. & Stern, C.
Publication year

2005

Abstract

We advocate the development of a classical-liberal character within professional sociology. The American Sociological Association (ASA) is taken as representative of professional sociology in the United States. We review the ASA’s activities and organizational statements, to show the association’s leftist character. Internal criticism is often very uneasy about leftist domination of the field. We present survey results establishing that, in voting and in policy views, the ASA membership is mostly left-wing and devoid of classical liberalism. We sketch some ideas showing that sociology needs classical liberalism, and classical liberalism needs sociology.

Related content: Sociology and Classical Liberalism

Working Paper No. 81. Sociology and Classical Liberalism
Working paperPublication
Klein, D. & Stern, C.
Publication year

2005

Abstract

We advocate the development of a classical-liberal character within professional sociology. The American Sociological Association (ASA) is taken as representative of professional sociology in the United States. We review the ASA’s activities and organizational statements, to show the association’s leftist character. Internal criticism is often very uneasy about leftist domination of the field. We present survey results establishing that, in voting and in policy views, the ASA membership is mostly left-wing and devoid of classical liberalism. We sketch some ideas showing that sociology needs classical liberalism, and classical liberalism needs sociology.

Related content: Sociology and Classical Liberalism

Working Paper No. 53. How Politically Diverse Are the Social Sciences and Humanities? Survey Evidence from Six Fields
Working paperPublication
Klein, D. & Stern, C.
Publication year

2004

Abstract

In Spring 2003, a large-scale survey of American academics was conducted using academic association membership lists from six fields: Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy (political and legal), Political Science, and Sociology. This paper focuses on one question: To which political party have the candidates you’ve voted for in the past ten years mostly belonged? The question was answered by 96.4 percent of academic respondents. The results show that the faculty is heavily skewed towards voting Democratic. The most lopsided fields surveyed are Anthropology with a D to R ratio of 30.2 to 1, and Sociology with 28.0 to 1. The least lopsided is Economics with 3.0 to 1. After Economics, the least lopsided is Political Science with 6.7 to 1. The average of the six ratios by field is about 15 to 1. Our analysis and related research suggest that for the the social sciences and humanities overall, a “one-big-pool” ratio of 7 to 1 is a safe lower-bound estimate, and 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 are reasonable point estimates. Thus, the social sciences and humanities are dominated by Democrats. There is little ideological diversity. We discuss Stephen Balch’s “property rights” proposal to help remedy the situation.

Related content: Political Diversity in Six Disciplines

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