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August 28, 2002

Very interesting article--with new data--about

Very interesting article--with new data--about the political affiliations of the American professorate. Unfortunately, it's not online. It appears in The American Enterprise, September, 2002. A brief summary is here.

But you, you lucky readers of the Door, get more because it so happens that Mrs. Newmark subscribes to this publication. The article employed student volunteers to match faculty lists against local voter registration records. Some qualifications: 1) no mention is made of who the student volunteers were and what biases they may have had, 2) no explanation is provided for how the universities in the article were selected, and 3) the article admits that some professors couldn't be matched, some were not registered for a party that could be classified as "left" or "right," and some professors apparently weren't registered for any party.

Bearing these qualifications in mind, and noting that L represents a "left" party (Democrat, Green, or Working Families Party) and R represents a "right" party (Republican or Libertarian), here's data on the party registrations in economics departments:

Brown 5 L; 1 R
Cornell 10 L; 3 R
Davidson 3 L; 0 R
Harvard 15 L; 1 R
Penn State 8 L; 4 R
Pomona 5 L; 2 R
Stanford 21 L; 7 R
Syracuse 15 L; 1 R
Berkeley 20 L; 3 R
Maryland 8 L; 4 R

Total 110 L; 26 R

But take heart, conservatives! In every case except Davidson, the fraction of Rs in economics departments was higher than for the campus as a whole. Also note that the economics departments of two mainstream state universities, Penn State and Maryland, had a higher fraction of Rs than some of those so-called leading schools. Finally, the article does not report departmental figures for Williams College but notes that out of a total faculty of 200+, only four admitted to being registered Republicans. Diversity?

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That's the party affiliation breakdown of the Harvard economics department. It's 20-3 Democrat in the Berkeley economics department. 21-7... [Read More]

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