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Political Language in Economics

date Date: December 2, 2014
date Author(s): Zubin Jelveh, Bruce Kogut, and Suresh Naidu
date Affiliation: New York University-Columbia University

Does political ideology influence economic research? We rely upon purely inductive methods
in natural language processing and machine learning to examine patterns of implicit political ideology in economic articles. Using observed political behavior of economists and the phrases from their academic articles, we construct a high-dimensional predictor of political ideology by article, economist, school, and journal. In addition to field, journal, and editor ideology, we look at the correlation of author ideology with magnitudes of reported policy relevant elasticities. Overall our results suggest that there is substantial sorting by ideology into fields, departments, and methodologies,and that political ideology influences the results of economic research.

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