On the Effect of Business and Economic University Education on Political Ideology: An Empirical Note
We empirically test the hypothesis that a major in economics, management, business administration or accounting (for simplicity referred to as Business/Economics) leads to more-conservative (right-wing) political views. We use a panel dataset of individuals (repeated observations for the same individuals over time) living in the Netherlands, drawing data from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences from 2008 through 2013. Our results show that when using a simple fixed effects model, which fully controls for individuals’ time-invariant traits, any statistically and quantitatively significant effect of a major in Business/Economics on the Political Ideology of these individuals disappears. We posit that, at least in our sample, there is no evidence for a causal effect of a major in Business/Economics on individuals’ Political Ideology.
KeywordsUniversity education Political Ideology Business and economics studies
We are indebted to the editor and the two anonymous reviewers. Usual caveats apply.
- Altemeyer, B. (1988). Enemies of freedom: Understanding right-wing authoritarianism. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Altemeyer, B. (1996). The authoritarian specter. London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Baltagi, B. H. (2013). Econometric analysis of panel data. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., Miller, W. E., & Stokes, D. E. (1960). The American voter. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Dickerson, A., Hole, A. R., & Munford, L. (2011). A review of estimators for the fixed effects ordered logit model. http://repec.org/usug2011/UK11_Hole.pdf.
- Hyman, H. H. (1959). Political socialization. Glencoe: The Free Press.Google Scholar
- Jacob, P. (1957). Changing values in college: An exploratory study of the impact of college teaching. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
- Kinder, D. R., & Sears, D. O. (1985). Public opinion and political action. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (vol. 11, 3rd ed.). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Lipset, S. M., Lazarsfeld, P. F., Barton, A. H., & Linz, J. (1954). The psychology of voting: An analysis of political behavior. In G. Lindzey (Ed.), Handbook of social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Luker, W. A. (1972). The relationship between economic knowledge and certain elements of the affective domain. In A. L. Welsh (Ed.), Research papers in economic education. New York: Joint Council on Economic Education.Google Scholar
- Markus, H. R., Ryff, C. D., Conner, A. L., Pudberry, E. K., & Barnett, K. L. (2001). Themes and variations in American understandings of responsibility. In A. S. Rossi (Ed.), Caring and doing for others: Social responsibility in the domains of family, work, and community (pp. 349–399). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Meighan, R., & Harber, C. (2007). A sociology of educating. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Neubaum, D. O., Pagell, M., Drexler, J. A., Jr., Mckee-Ryan, F. M., & Larson, E. (2009). Business/economics and its relationship to student personal moral philosophies and attitudes toward profits: An empirical response to critics. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 8, 9–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Newcomb, T. M. (1943). Personality and social change: Attitude formation in a student community. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar
- Pew Research Center. 2014. Beyond red vs. blue: The political typology.Google Scholar
- Steckenrider, J. S., & Cutler, N. E. (1989). Aging and adult political socialization. In R. S. Sigel (Ed.), Political learning in adulthood. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Walstad, W. B., & Soper, J. C. 1981. Measuring economic attitudes in high school. Unpublished paper presented at a College and University Faculty (CUFA) session of the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Meeting, Detroit, Michigan.Google Scholar
- Weissberg, R. (1974). Political learning, political choice, and democratic citizenship. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Wooldridge, J. M. (2012). Introductory econometrics: A modern approach. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.Google Scholar