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Biased Geeks ?

08/23/2016

Republicans like to believe that journalists are closet-liberals, and I suspect there is some truth to that.  They also like to believe that professors are closet-liberals, and, with notable exceptions, there may be some truth to that as well.  But, I’m not aware of any similar sweeping generalizations about economists.

There are two main trade groups for economists, i.e., the American Economic Association and the National Association of Business Economics.  While there is considerable overlap in membership, AEA tends to have more academic and government economists, while NABE has more economists from the private sector.  (I have been a NABE member for many years.)

The latest survey from NABE found that 55% of the members think Hillary Clinton would do a better job than Donald Trump in managing the economy.   Only 14% thought Trump could do a better job.  Surprising, 15% thought Libertarian Gary Johnson could do a better job, slightly more than Trump.

One possible conclusion is that business economists are overwhelmingly in favor of Clinton.  Another possible conclusion is that they understand the economic plans of Clinton and Johnson, who have presented more detailed economic plans than Trump has.  Maybe, that now-tired bromide of “reducing taxes on job-creators” just doesn’t resonate with economists as much anymore.

One impossible conclusion is that business economists are also closet liberals.

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