Phi Beta Cons

Bias by the Numbers

NRO hears that Critical Review is publishing two relatively new academic studies, both of which provide some hard data to further confirm some core Phi-Beta-Con intuitions. The first:

FACULTY PARTISAN AFFILIATIONS IN ALL DISCIPLINES: A VOTER-REGISTRATION STUDY

By Christopher F. Cardiff and Daniel B. Klein

ABSTRACT: The party registration of tenure-track faculty at 11 California universities, ranging from small, private, religiously affiliated institutions to large, public, elite schools, shows that the “one-party campus” conjecture does not extend to all institutions or all departments. At one end of the scale, U.C. Berkeley has an adjusted Democrat:Republican ratio of almost 9:1, while Pepperdine University has a ratio of nearly 1:1. Academic field also makes a tremendous difference, with the humanities averaging a 10:1 D:R ratio and business schools averaging 1.3:1, and with departments ranging from sociology (44:1) to management (1.5:1). Across all departments and institutions, the D:R ratio is 5:1, while in the “soft” liberal-arts fields, the ratio is higher than 8:1. These findings are generally in line with comparable previous studies.

And the second:

PROFESSORS AND THEIR POLITICS: THE POLICY VIEWS OF SOCIAL SCIENTISTS 

By Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern

ABSTRACT: Academic social scientists overwhelmingly vote Democratic, and the Democratic hegemony has increased significantly since 1970. Moreover, the policy preferences of a large sample of the members of the scholarly associations in anthropology, economics, history, legal and political philosophy, political science, and sociology generally bear out conjectures about the correspondence of partisan identification with left/right ideal types; although across the board, both Democratic and Republican academics favor government action more than the ideal types might suggest. Variations in policy views among Democrats is smaller than among Republicans. Ideological diversity (as judged not only by voting behavior, but by policy views) is by far the greatest within economics. Social scientists who deviate from left-wing views are as likely to be libertarian as conservative.

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