Most Economists Welcome Ideological Openness, A Survey Indicates

8 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2012

See all articles by Daniel B. Klein

Daniel B. Klein

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

William L. Davis

University of Tennessee, Martin - Department of Economics

Bob Figgins

University of Tennessee, Martin

David Hedengren

George Mason University

Date Written: April 4, 2012

Abstract

A sample of 299 U.S. economics professors responded to our 2010 survey, which asked: “Suppose you are reading or listening to an economist, and he discloses his own ideological proclivities. Which best represents your attitude toward his doing so:” The results surprised us. Sixty-three percent of respondents chose “I welcome it,” twenty percent chose “I am indifferent,” and only ten percent chose “I dislike it.” Most economists, it appears, welcome ideological openness, and only a small minority dislikes it. Follow-up questions asked reasons why the respondent liked (or disliked) it. These results suggest that economists – or, at least those inclined to complete a survey – are quite inclined toward natural discourse.

Keywords: Ideological openness, value-freedom, economists

JEL Classification: A13, A14, B4

Suggested Citation

Klein, Daniel B. and Davis, William L. and Figgins, Bob and Hedengren, David, Most Economists Welcome Ideological Openness, A Survey Indicates (April 4, 2012). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2034289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2034289

Daniel B. Klein (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
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HOME PAGE: http://economics.gmu.edu/people/dklein

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
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William L. Davis

University of Tennessee, Martin - Department of Economics ( email )

554 University Street
Martin, TN 38238
United States

Bob Figgins

University of Tennessee, Martin ( email )

554 University Street
Martin, TN 38238
United States

David Hedengren

George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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