Is There a Free-Market Economist in the House? The Policy Views of American Economic Association Members
People often suppose or imply that free-market economists constitute a significant portion of all economists. We surveyed American Economic Association members and asked their views on 18 specific forms of government activism. We find that about 8 percent of AEA members can be considered supporters of free-market principles, and that less than 3 percent may be called strong supporters. The data is broken down by voting behavior (Democratic or Republican). Even the average Republican AEA member is “middle-of-the-road,” not free-market. We offer several possible explanations of the apparent difference between actual and attributed views.
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