Day By Day

Friday, December 23, 2005

On Academic Diversity, Or Rather the Lack of It

There is a new study out that once again proves what everybody knows but nobody wants to admit -- that there is no real intellectual diversity in American academia.

Daniel B. Klein and Charlotta Stern write:
We find that the academics overwhelmingly vote Democratic and that the Democratic dominance has increased significantly since 1970. A multivariate analysis shows strongly that Republican scholars are more likely to land outside of academia.

On the 18 policy questions, the Democratic-voter responses have much less variation than do the Republicans. The left has a narrow tent.

The Democratic and Republican policy views of academics are somewhat in line with the ideal types, except that across the board both groups are simply more statist than the ideal types might suggest. Regarding disciplinary consensus, we find that the discipline with least consensus is economics.

We do a cluster analysis, and the mathematical technique sorts the respondents into groups that nicely correspond to familiar ideological categories: establishment left, progressive, conservative, and libertarian. The conservative group and the libertarian group are equal in size (35 individuals, each), suggesting that academics who depart from the leftist ranks are as likely to be libertarian as conservative. We also find that conservatives are closer to the establishment left than they are to the libertarians.
Read the study here.

Is anyone surprised by any of this? I doubt it.

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