Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Economists tend to the right

At TCS Daily Tim Worstall asks why most economists at to the right politically.
Just how right wing are economists? A serious question, not a joke. If you look around at some of the favorite liberal or left wing ideas, or policy proposals, you see that most economists start sucking their teeth, muttering under their breath and generally, well, at best, not supporting the ideas. Even those who share the goals of a more egalitarian society, even economists known to be left wing politically, tend not to support some policies on their economic arguments. Why is this? Why is it that economists, to liberal viewers at least, all seem to be right wing? Simply to state that the Right is right, while tempting, isn't really enough. ... Fortunately, a real economist (rather than I, interested amateur that I am) has actually addressed this problem: Gebhard Kirchgässner on "(Why) Are Economists Different?" He starts by defining what he means by what I have called "right", preferring the word "conservative" and quotes George Gilder: "I shall mean by a conservative in economic matters a person who wishes most economic activity conducted by private enterprise, and who believes that abuses of private power will usually be checked, and incitements to efficiency and progress usually provided, by the force of competition."
In the recent years I have been noticing how much I agree with the Nobel Prize winners in economics, as opposed to the sorry bunch of leftists getting the Anti-Peace prize and the prize for literature. And Kirchgässner has analyzed the situation and found the same conclusion.

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