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How Politically Diverse Are the Social Sciences and Humanities? Survey Evidence from Six Fields

Author

Listed:
  • Klein, Daniel B.

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Stern, Charlotta

    () (Institute for Social Research (SOFI))

Abstract

In Spring 2003, a large-scale survey of American academics was conducted using academic association membership lists from six fields: Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy (political and legal), Political Science, and Sociology. This paper focuses on one question: To which political party have the candidates you’ve voted for in the past ten years mostly belonged? The question was answered by 96.4 percent of academic respondents. The results show that the faculty is heavily skewed towards voting Democratic. The most lopsided fields surveyed are Anthropology with a D to R ratio of 30.2 to 1, and Sociology with 28.0 to 1. The least lopsided is Economics with 3.0 to 1. After Economics, the least lopsided is Political Science with 6.7 to 1. The average of the six ratios by field is about 15 to 1. Our analysis and related research suggest that for the the social sciences and humanities overall, a “one-big-pool” ratio of 7 to 1 is a safe lower-bound estimate, and 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 are reasonable point estimates. Thus, the social sciences and humanities are dominated by Democrats. There is little ideological diversity. We discuss Stephen Balch’s “property rights” proposal to help remedy the situation.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Daniel B. & Stern, Charlotta, 2004. "How Politically Diverse Are the Social Sciences and Humanities? Survey Evidence from Six Fields," Ratio Working Papers 53, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0053
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/dk_ls_diverse.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Klein, Daniel B. & Western, Andrew, 2004. "How Many Democrats per Republican at UC-Berkeley and Stanford? Voter Registration Data Across 23 Academic Departments," Ratio Working Papers 54, The Ratio Institute.
    2. Victor R. Fuchs & Alan B. Krueger & James M. Poterba, 1998. "Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1387-1425, September.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. IGM, Economic Consensus, and Partisan Bias, by Bryan Caplan
      by in Econlog on 2012-07-27 05:16:01
    2. A Critique of Wisdom, by Bryan Caplan
      by ? in Econlog on 2012-12-03 06:09:16

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    Cited by:

    1. Klein, Daniel B. & Western, Andrew, 2004. "How Many Democrats per Republican at UC-Berkeley and Stanford? Voter Registration Data Across 23 Academic Departments," Ratio Working Papers 54, The Ratio Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    academia; diversity; Democratic; Republican; voting; political parties;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics

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