Public Choice

, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 331-342

First online:

Economists' policy views and voting

  • Daniel B. KleinAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Santa Clara University Email author 
  • , Charlotta SternAffiliated withInstitute for Social Research, Stockholm University

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In Spring 2003, a survey of 1000 economists was conducted using a randomly generated membership list from the American Economics Association. The survey contained questions about 18 policy issues, voting behavior, and several background variables. The response was 264 (nonblank) surveys. The responses show that most economists are supporters of safety regulations, gun control, redistribution, public schooling, and anti-discrimination laws. They are evenly mixed on personal choice issues, military action, and the minimum wage. Most economists oppose tighter immigration controls, government ownership of enterprise and tariffs. In voting, the Democratic:Republican ratio is 2.5:1. These results are compared to those of previous surveys of economists. We itemize a series of important questions raised by these results.