As Obama becomes the new President of the USA, I happen to wonder what has happened to the political orientation of our profession.
George Stigler (1959: 524) argued that economists are conservatives “in the sense of being hostile to an increasing number of innovations in economic policy.” But the pie-chart below suggests that we no longer are so hostile. The question is then: why?
Leaving aside the quite likely possibility that the survey (by econ4obama.blogspot.com) was biased, if economists have embraced ‘change we need,’ does it mean that (i) we do need the change, (ii) economists have realized that we do need it, (iii) economists are so honest that they admit we need it, (iv) economists agree with the majority of the American laypersons?
Let’s play along and imagine that the answers to the four quesitons were yes-yes-yes-yes. Which ‘yes’ would be the most surprising?