Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 711: The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists

Niclas Berggren (), Henrik Jordahl () and Charlotta Stern ()
Additional contact information
Niclas Berggren: Ratio, Postal: P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Henrik Jordahl: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Charlotta Stern: Swedish Institute of Social Research (SOFI), Postal: Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We study the political opinions of Swedish social scientists in seven disciplines. A survey was sent to 4,301 academics at 25 colleges and universities, which makes the coverage of the disciplines included more or less comprehensive. When it comes to party sympathies there are 1.3 academics on the right for each academic on the left – a sharp contrast to the situation in the United States, where Democrats greatly dominate the social sciences. The corresponding ratio for Swedish citizens in general is 1.1. The most left-leaning disciplines are sociology and gender studies, the most right-leaning ones are business administration, economics, and law, with political science and economic history somewhere in between. The differences between the disciplines are smaller in Sweden than in the more polarized U.S. We also asked 14 policy questions. The replies largely confirm the pattern of a left-right divide – but overall the desire to change the status quo is tepid.

Keywords: Academics; Social Scientists; Policy Views; Political Opinions; Party Sympathies

JEL-codes: A11; A13; A14

45 pages, August 8, 2007

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