Saturday, May 26, 2012

Economists and the General Public bias

Who is the most important economist nowadays? Logically depends on who you ask. Davis, Bob Figgins, David Hedengren and Daniel B. Klein asked 300 academic economists who is their favourite economist nowadays under 60 years old and below. Not surprisingly, results for nowadays economist under 60 years old showed the following list:
The top-16 list for economists older than 60 years old:
Davis et. al. paper also asked surveyed economists to quantified liberalism for some famous economist in a 1-4 scale. Results are shown in the last columns above. Then I wondered how close this list would be to the general public or general newspapers mentions. I couldn’t find a public survey on this so I took Google News tool and Google search tool results as a proxy. (I excluded Bernanke as he is more a political or public figure than economist) Using the liberalism variable and the differences of mentions between economists and general public I created the following chart to see if there is any bias of the general public in comparison to the economists. I measured the difference between economists and general public as the logarithm of GoogleNews mentions divided by Economists mentions but other measures like a direct substraction also showed the same results (though less significant).
To be honest I was expecting to see a u-form relation, I was expecting to see the general public mentioning more extremist economists (left side and right side of the political spectrum). Surprisingly, it seems that the general news corporations and the general public are more prone to mention left wing economists (low liberal score) than right wing economists. No idea why. Comments accepted.

2 comments:

Edward Dowdell said...

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HawksEye said...
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