IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ifowps/_218.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Support for free-market policies and reforms: Does the field of study influence students’ political attitudes?

Author

Listed:
  • Mira Fischer
  • Björn Kauder

    ()

  • Niklas Potrafke

    ()

  • Heinrich W. Ursprung

Abstract

Since opinion leaders are usually university graduates, the field of study has an influence on public support for economic policies and policy reforms intended to enhance efficiency because advocating such policies often requires appreciation of the beneficial roles of markets and economic freedom. We investigate whether the field of study influences German university students' political attitudes. We disentangle self-selection from learning effects and reveal systematic differences between incoming students' political attitudes across eight fields of study. In a second step we explore how the students' political attitudes change as they progress in their academic training. Only studying economics has an unambiguous pro-market influence on political attitudes: by the time of graduation, economics students are some 6.2 percentage points more likely than they were in their initial year of study to agree with free-market policy positions. Studying humanities and natural sciences has a pro-leftist influence.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Mira Fischer & Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2016. "Support for free-market policies and reforms: Does the field of study influence students’ political attitudes?," ifo Working Paper Series 218, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_218
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/wp-2016-218-fischer-kauder-potrafke-ursprung-political-attidues.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George Stigler, 1959. "The Politics of Political Economists," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 522-532.
    2. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003. "Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 448-462, July.
    3. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
    4. Bauman, Yoram & Rose, Elaina, 2011. "Selection or indoctrination: Why do economics students donate less than the rest?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 318-327, August.
    5. Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "The information value of central school exams," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 65-79.
    6. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Economic Freedom and Government Ideology across the German States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(3), pages 433-449, March.
    7. Elinder, Mikael & Jordahl, Henrik, 2013. "Political preferences and public sector outsourcing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 43-57.
    8. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl & Charlotta Stern, 2009. "The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 75-88, Autumn.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:91:y:1997:i:01:p:45-65_23 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bernardo Bortolotti & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Delayed privatization," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(3), pages 331-351, September.
    11. Mark Elchardus & Bram Spruyt, 2009. "The Culture of Academic Disciplines and the Sociopolitical Attitudes of Students: A Test of Selection and Socialization Effects," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(2), pages 446-460.
    12. Belloc, Filippo & Nicita, Antonio & Sepe, Simone M., 2014. "Disentangling liberalization and privatization policies: Is there a political trade-off?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 1033-1051.
    13. Ansgar Belke & Frank Baumgärtner & Friedrich Schneider & Ralph Setzer, 2007. "The Different Extent of Privatization Proceeds in OECD Countries: A Preliminary Explanation Using a Public-Choice Approach," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(2), pages 211-243, June.
    14. Waelti, Sébastien, 2015. "Financial crisis begets financial reform? The origin of the crisis matters," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 1-15.
    15. Duso, Tomaso & Seldeslachts, Jo, 2010. "The political economy of mobile telecommunications liberalization: Evidence from the OECD countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 199-216, June.
    16. Wiese, Rasmus, 2014. "What triggers reforms in OECD countries? Improved reform measurement and evidence from the healthcare sector," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 332-352.
    17. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "The size and scope of government in the US states: does party ideology matter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 687-714, August.
    18. Jean-Luc Demeulemeester & Claude Diebolt, 2011. "Education and Growth: What Links for Which Policy?," Historical Social Research (Section 'Cliometrics'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 36(4), pages 323-346.
    19. Anthony M. Yezer & Robert S. Goldfarb & Paul J. Poppen, 1996. "Does Studying Economics Discourage Cooperation? Watch What We Do, Not What We Say or How We Play," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 177-186, Winter.
    20. John R. Lott & Jr. & Lawrence W. Kenny, 1999. "Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1163-1198, December.
    21. Amélie Goossens & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2015. "The Belief that Market Transactions Are Mutually Beneficial: A Comparison of the Views of Students in Economics and Other Disciplines," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 121-134, April.
    22. Ariel Rubinstein, 2006. "A Sceptic's Comment on the Study of Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 1-9, March.
    23. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Does government ideology influence deregulation of product markets? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 135-155, April.
    24. Hans Pitlik, 2007. "A race to liberalization? Diffusion of economic policy reform among OECD-economies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 159-178, July.
    25. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Politics and privatization in Central and Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(2), pages 201-230, April.
    26. Chang, Chun Ping & Berdiev, Aziz N., 2011. "The political economy of energy regulation in OECD countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 816-825, September.
    27. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Political Ideology and Economic Freedom Across Canadian Provinces," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 143-166.
    28. Filippo Belloc & Antonio Nicita, 2011. "The political determinants of liberalization: do ideological cleavages still matter?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(2), pages 121-145, June.
    29. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
    30. Haucap, Justus & Just, Tobias, 2003. "Not guilty? Another look at the nature and nurture of economics students," Research Notes 10, Deutsche Bank Research.
    31. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
    32. Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
    33. John R. Carter & Michael D. Irons, 1991. "Are Economists Different, and If So, Why?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 171-177, Spring.
    34. Bryan Caplan, 2007. "Introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies," Introductory Chapters,in: The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies Princeton University Press.
    35. Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2016. "The role of party politics in medical malpractice tort reforms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-35.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kristin Fischer & Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Beeinflusst das Studienfach die politische Einstellung von Studierenden?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 69(15), pages 17-24, August.
    2. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Heinrich Ursprung, 2016. "Behavioral Determinants of Proclaimed Support for Environment Protection Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 5993, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Montagnoli, Alberto & Moro, Mirko & Panos, Georgios A. & Wright, Robert E., 2016. "Financial Literacy and Political Orientation in Great Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 10285, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ifooode.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.