Advanced search

DT 07 - 24 The Role of Ideology in Shaping Economists' Opinions on Inequality and Discrimination: Evidence from Uruguay

This paper investigates the link between the ideological profile of Uruguayan economists and their opinions regarding inequality and discrimination. Drawing on data from an online survey of Uruguayan economists, we explore the links between their economic opinions and three dimensions of ideology: political orientation, sexist attitudes (benevolent and hostile sexism), and pro-market views. Economists' opinions encompass diagnostic assessments of inequality and discrimination, as well as views on specific policies designed to address these issues.

Using ordered probit models, we find that right-wing political ideology, hostile sexism, and pro-market attitudes are associated with a lower likelihood of agreeing that income distribution in Uruguay should be more equitable and that women face barriers to full-time employment. These ideological factors are also linked to a higher likelihood of believing that there are equal gender and race opportunities in Uruguay. Benevolent sexism exhibits a more mixed relationship with opinions on inequality and discrimination. Furthermore, we show that economists' diagnoses of inequality and discrimination mediate the relationship between ideological variables and their policy preferences. Our results point to the need for greater introspection within the discipline regarding the influence of personal values and beliefs on economic analysis and policy recommendations. Our findings challenge the notion of economics as a purely objective and unbiased discipline, revealing significant associations between ideological factors, economists' perceptions of inequality and discrimination, and their support for specific policies.

Keywords: ideology, sexism, inequality, discrimination