[Actualizado]Nos blogues que leio com regularidade encontro mais economistas a defender ideias de direita do que de esquerda. E mesmo os que se identificam com a esquerda, como o Luís, o Rui ou eu, assumem-se como liberais (existe entre os autoproclamados liberiais que encontro na blogoesfera uma clara identificação com os partidos de direita).
Greg Mankiw, professor de Economia em Harvard, responde no seu blogue à pergunta does the study of economics tend to make people conservative?
I believe the answer is, to some degree, yes. My experience is that many students find that their views become somewhat more conservative after studying economics. There are at least three, related reasons.
First, in some cases, students start off with utopian views of public policy, where a benevolent government can fix all problems. One of the first lessons of economics is that life is full of tradeoffs. That insight, completely absorbed, makes many utopian visions less attractive. Once you recognize, for example, that there is a tradeoff between equality and efficiency, as economist Arthur Okun famously noted, many public policy decisions become harder.
Second, some of the striking insights of economics make one more respectful of the market as a mechanism for coordinating a society. Because market participants are motivated by self-interest, a person might naturally be suspect of market-based societies. But after learning about the gains from trade, the invisible hand, and the efficiency of market equilibrium, one starts to approach the market with a degree of admiration and, indeed, awe.
Third, the study of actual public policy makes students recognize that political reality often deviates from their idealistic hopes. Much income redistribution, for example, is aimed not toward the needy but toward those with political clout.[…]
For these three reasons, many students in introductory economics courses become more conservative–or, to be precise, more classically liberal–than they began. Nonetheless, studying economics does not by itself determine one’s political ideology. […]
Defeito profissional ou o insuportável peso da realidade?