Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 112: The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists

Niclas Berggren (), Henrik Jordahl () and Charlotta Stern ()
Additional contact information
Niclas Berggren: The Ratio Institute, Postal: P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Henrik Jordahl: IFN
Charlotta Stern: SOFI, Stockholm University

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

44 pages, May 21, 2007

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