Divided We Stand? Professional Consensus and Political Conflict in Academic Economics

ICAE Working Paper Series, No. 94 - April 2019

35 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Karl M. Beyer

Karl M. Beyer

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Insitute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy

Stephan Puehringer

Johannes Kepler University of Linz - Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE)

Date Written: April 1, 2019

Abstract

In this paper we address the issue of the role of ideology and political preferences of publicly engaged economists and contribute to the debate on consensus in economics. To do so, we conduct a social network analysis on the signatories of economist petitions, which we identify as one channel for economists to exert public influence. We base our analysis on a sample of 77 public policy petitions and presidential anti-/endorsement letters from 2008-2017 in the United States with more than 6,400 signatories and check the robustness of our results with six sub-networks. Our contribution is twofold: On the one hand we provide an extended empirical basis for the debate on consensus in economics and the role of politics and ideology in economics. On the other hand we provide a viable tool to trace the ideological leaning of (prospective) economist petitions and economists based on the social structure of petition networks.

Keywords: social network analysis, sociology of economics, consensus, public economists, economist petitions, United States

JEL Classification: A11, A14, Z13

Suggested Citation

Beyer, Karl M. and Puehringer, Stephan, Divided We Stand? Professional Consensus and Political Conflict in Academic Economics (April 1, 2019). ICAE Working Paper Series, No. 94 - April 2019 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3425768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3425768

Karl M. Beyer

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Insitute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy ( email )

Aubrunnerweg 3a
Linz, 4040
Austria

Stephan Puehringer (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University of Linz - Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE) ( email )

Aubrunnerweg 3a
A-4040 Linz
Austria

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