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Economist Petitions: Ideology Revealed


  • David Hedengren
  • Daniel B. Klein
  • Carrie Milton


We report on 35 US-based economist petitions from 1994 to 2009, featuring 10,792 signatures and 6,030 signatories. We separate the 35 petitions into three categories: 15 liberty-augmenting (or liberal) petitions, 13 liberty-reducing (or interventionist) petitions, and 7 in a category called other. We analyze the data by individual, school, state, and gender. The most remarkable finding is how little crossover there is by individual between liberal and interventionist signing activity: Almost all active petition signers lean heavily toward either liberalism or interventionism. The economists most active in signing liberal petitions include Vernon L. Smith, David R. Henderson and Mark J. Perry. Those most active in signing interventionist petitions include Henry Aaron, Eileen Applebaum, Dean Baker, Peter Dorman, James K. Galbraith, Michael Perelman, Michael Reich, David Terkla, Christopher Tilly, and Thomas E. Weisskopf. We present information on many notable economists, including Nobel laureates. The schools that show the most signatures are George Mason University, University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Harvard University. We find a large difference by gender: Among men the ratio of liberal to interventionist signatures is much higher than it is among women. Note: The article PDF is rather large at 1.68MB.

Suggested Citation

  • David Hedengren & Daniel B. Klein & Carrie Milton, 2010. "Economist Petitions: Ideology Revealed," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 7(3), pages 288-319, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:7:y:2010:i:3:p:288-319

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philip Booth, 2006. "A List of the 364 Economists Who Objected to Thatcher’s Macro Policy," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(2), pages 380-392, May.
    2. Klein, Daniel, 2003. "Mere Libertarianism: Blending Hayek and Rothbard," Ratio Working Papers 29, The Ratio Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ann Mari May & Mary G. Mcgarvey & Robert Whaples, 2014. "Are Disagreements Among Male And Female Economists Marginal At Best?: A Survey Of Aea Members And Their Views On Economics And Economic Policy," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 111-132, January.
    2. William L. Davis & Bob G. Figgins & David Hedengren & Daniel B. Klein, 2011. "Economics Professors' Favorite Economic Thinkers, Journals, and Blogs (along with Party and Policy Views)," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 8(2), pages 126-146, May.
    3. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti & Giulia Zacchia, 2017. "Gendered careers: women economists in Italy," Working Papers CEB 17-003, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Christian Grimm & Jakob Kapeller & Stephan Puehringer, 2018. "Paradigms and Policies: The state of economics in the german-speaking countries," ICAE Working Papers 77, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    5. Daniel Stastny, 2010. "Czech Economists on Economic Policy: A Survey," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 7(3), pages 275-287, September.

    More about this item


    petitions; economists; signatories;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values


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