Does Economic Education Make a Difference in Congress? How Economists Vote on Trade

27 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2010

Date Written: July 2010

Abstract

The general population has been shown to have at best a rudimentary knowledge of economics, while the making of economic policy is in the hands of those with a similar lack of understanding as shown in surveys of the political parities (Fuller, Alston, and Vaughan 1995; and Geide-Stevenson 2007). The question is whether those with an economic background, an economics undergraduate degree, vote in a more informed fashion, or if they play politics like everyone else. This study examines this influence of background and finds that over the 109th and 110th Congresses and nine separate trade votes, those Members of Congress who majored in economics are statistically more likely to vote in favor of free trade legislation than any other college major group. This is tested using a logit model and the result is robust.

JEL Classification: A11, A12, D72

Suggested Citation

O'Roark, J. Brian, Does Economic Education Make a Difference in Congress? How Economists Vote on Trade (July 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1648565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1648565

J. Brian O'Roark (Contact Author)

Robert Morris University ( email )

Department of Economics & Legal Studies
Moon Township, PA 15108
United States
412-397-3472 (Phone)

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