Implied Dissent

Monday, August 07, 2006

Three in One

Kling and Caplan are wondering why academia is dominated by leftists/liberals. Some of their thoughts are worthwhile, but I think I have something to add. My fairly simple model of college is that it is a package deal for both the customer and the workforce. Ostentatiously, college exists for professors to teach/students to learn. Many, probably most, students are there at least as much for the social aspects of college. Most professors are there much more to perform research and disseminate ideas that are only somewhat related to the subjects they teach. While this model exaggerates some and leaves out other factors, I think it is useful. To the extent that it is true, it explains why there could be a significant deviation of the politics of the faculty from the students' and parents' politics, as what each group wants from college only overlaps to a moderate extent, and where they don't overlap they don't significantly interfere with eachother. This doesn't tell us why it goes so strongly in one direction, but it does explain why it is possible.


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