Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/123187
Authors: 
Fischer, Mira
Kauder, Björn
Potrafke, Niklas
Ursprung, Heinrich
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 5545
Abstract: 
We investigate whether the field of study influences university students’ political attitudes. To disentangle self-selection from learning effects, we first investigate whether the fields of study chosen by the incoming students correlate with their political attitudes. In a second step we explore how the political attitudes change as the students progress in their studies. Our results are based on a German pseudo-panel survey, the sample size of which exceeds that of comparable student surveys by an order of magnitude. We find systematic differences between the students’ political attitudes across eight fields of study. These differences can in most cases be attributed to self-selection. A notable exception is economics. Even though self-selection is also important, training in economics has an unambiguous influence on the political attitudes: by the time of graduation, economics students are about 6.2 percentage points more likely than they were as freshmen to agree with liberal-democratic policy positions.
Subjects: 
indoctrination
nature versus nurture
field of study
polical socialization
political attitudes
economics
JEL: 
A13
A22
D72
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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