Advertisement

French Politics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 228–256 | Cite as

Why do academics oppose the market economy? Sophistication and perception of market failures

  • Abel FrançoisEmail author
  • Cal Le Gall
  • Raul Magni Berton
Original Article

Abstract

Rejection of the market economy is widespread in academia. This fact has often been observed, but rarely explained. Using a large survey on French academics which replicates questions used in international surveys, this article confirms that French academics are hostile to market economy principles in comparison with the French population. Two explanations are tested: the first posits that academics—as knowledge providers—are likely to experience a “public good” market failure. Their rejection of the market economy is thus linked to their specific positioning vis-à-vis the market economy itself. The second hypothesis assumes that academics are not involved in market activities. Consequently, this lack of familiarity leads academics to be more suspicious towards an institution they barely experience. Both hypotheses are consistent with our data.

Keywords

Market economy Opinions Academics France 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would thank Nicolas Eber, Nicolas Sauger and Pierre Bréchon for their help on the survey design and Pierre-Guillaume Méon for fruitful discussion. Any errors remain ours.

References

  1. Allport, G.W. 1954. The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  2. Aron, R. 1955. L’Opium des intellectuels. Paris: Calmann-Lévy.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, D. 1976. The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Berggren, N, H Jordahl, and ad C Stern. 2007. The political opinions of swedish social scientists. Working Paper, IFN, vol. 711.Google Scholar
  5. Boudon, R. 2004. Pourquoi les intellectuels n’aiment pas le libéralisme. Paris: Odile Jacob.Google Scholar
  6. Brint, S. 1985. The political attitudes of professionals. Annual Review of Sociology 11: 389–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brym, R., and R. Nekhaie. 1999. The political attitudes of Canadian professors. Canadian Journal of Sociology 24(3): 329–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cameron, C.A., and P.K. Trivedi. 2005. Microeconometrics: Methods and Applications. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Caute, D. 1964. Communism and the French Intellectuals. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Cipriani, G.P., D. Lubian, and A. Zago. 2009. Natural born economists? Journal of Economic Psychology 30: 455–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fox, C.R., and A. Tversky. 1995. Ambiguity aversion and comparative ignorance. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 110: 585–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. François A. 2013. Les Européens et l’économie de marché. Futurible, juillet-août 2013.Google Scholar
  13. François, A., C. Le Gall, and R. Magni-Berton. 2016. Politics, economics, ethics, and religion in French academia. French Politics 14: 363–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. François, A., and R. Magni-Berton. 2015. Que pensent les penseurs?. PUG: Grenoble.Google Scholar
  15. Frey, B.S., and W.W. Pommerehne. 1993. On the fairness of pricing: An empirical survey among the general population. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 20: 295–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goossens, A., P.-G. Méon. 2010. This is an economist’s argument! The impact of studying economics and other disciplines on the belief that market transactions make everyone better off. Working paper 10-012 (Brussels, Belgium: Université libre de Bruxelles, Centre Emile Bernheim).Google Scholar
  17. Gross, N., and C. Cheng. 2011. Explaining professors’ politics: an indirect test of the self-selection hypothesis. In Diversity in American Higher Education, ed. Lisa Stulberg and Sharon Weinberg. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Gross, N., and Simmons, S. 2007. The social and political views of American professors, Working Paper, Department of Sociology, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  19. Gross, Neil. 2013. Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Halsey, A.-H., and M. Trow. 1971. The British Academics. London: Faber & Faber.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haucap, J., and T. Just. 2010. Not guilty? Another look at the nature and nurture of economics students. European Journal of Law and Economics 29(2): 239–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Judt, T. 1992. Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals 1944–1956. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kahneman, D., J.L. Knetsch, and R. Thaler. 1986. Fairness as a constraint on profit seeking: Entitlements in the market. American Economic Review 76(4): 728–741.Google Scholar
  24. Klein, D., and C. Stern. 2005. Professors and their politics: The policy views of social scientists. Critical Review 17: 257–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kurzman, C., and L. Owens. 2002. The sociology of intellectuals. Annual Review of Sociology 28: 63–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ladd, E., and S. Lipset. 1976. The Divided Academy: Professors and Politics. Toronto: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  27. Lamont, M. 1987. Cultural capital and the liberal political attitudes of professionals: Comment on Brint. American Journal of Sociology 92: 1501–1506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lamont, M. 1992. Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and American Upper-Middle Class. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lazarsfeld, P., and W. Thielens. 1958. The Academic Mind. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  30. Leymarie, M., and J.P. Sirinelli. 2003. Histoire des Intellectuels d’Aujourd’hui. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nekhaie, R., and B. Adam. 2008. Political affiliation of Canadian professors. Canadian Journal of Sociology 33(4): 873.Google Scholar
  32. Nozick, R. 1997. Why do academics oppose capitalism? In Socratic Puzzles, ed. R. Nozick. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Rios, D., and R. Magni-Berton. 2003. La Misère des Intellectuels. Paris: L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  34. Rojas, F. 2007. From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Rothman, S., Lichter, R. 2008. Politics and professional advancement among college faculty. The Forum 3.Google Scholar
  36. Rothman, S., M. Woessner, and A. Kelly-Woessner. 2010. The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  37. Siroen, J. 2009. Comment l’opinion perçoit la mondialisation: une exception française? Working Paper Université Paris-Dauphine.Google Scholar
  38. Stiglitz, J.E. 1999. Knowledge as a global public good. In Global Public Goods: International Cooperation in the 21st Century, ed. Inge Kaul, Isabelle Grunberg, and Marc A. Stern. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zipp, J., and R. Fenwick. 2006. Is the academy a liberal hegemony? The Political Orientations and Educational Values of Professors, Public Opinion Quarterly 70: 304–326.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abel François
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cal Le Gall
    • 2
  • Raul Magni Berton
    • 3
  1. 1.University of LilleLEM (UMR 9221)LilleFrance
  2. 2.UCLouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Sciences Po Grenoble (PACTE)Univ. Grenoble-AlpesSaint-Martin-d’HèresFrance

Personalised recommendations