Skola i socialism

Den innovative professor Gilles Saint-Paul har, i ”Endogenous Indoctrination: Occupational Choice, the Evolution of Beliefs, and the Political Economy of Reform”, utvecklat en teori om varför ett samhälle (som Frankrike) tenderar att vara ekonomiskt-politiskt vänsterorienterat och varför marknadsliberala reformer är sällsynta. En central orsak står att finna i de intellektuella, som utbildar befolkningen:

Yet the characteristics of their profession — that it is protected and in the public sector — generate a selection bias in the prior beliefs of those who elect to become teachers. That is, one is more likely to choose such a profession, the more unfavorable one’s opinion about the market economy. This selection bias is different from the one pointed out by Hayek: People with negative priors against capitalism choose the intellectual profession not out of their own taste, but because they are more likely to rationally believe that the returns from the protected intellectual profession are higher than those from the exposed market activity. In fact, this logic applies to any civil service occupation — and casual evidence suggests that people in those occupations are indeed more likely to hold socialist opinions. But the key point is that the intellectual profession is itself protected and thus prone to that bias.

The model predicts that society will be more left-wing (and lower in learning that the market economy works well, if that is the case), (i) the greater the weight of the schooling system vs. the family in the formation of beliefs, i.e. the lower the heritability of beliefs, and (ii) the greater the correlation between one’s pessimism about the market economy and the likelihood of becoming a teacher, i.e. the lower the social entropy. In the context of this paper, social entropy refers to how predictable is one’s occupation on the basis of one’s beliefs.

En mycket intressant teori, som kompletterar traditionella intressegruppsteorier och Hayeks och Nozicks teorier om varför intellektuella tenderar att vara socialister. Om den stämmer, kan friskolor och privata högskolor påverka den här selektionsproblematiken? Vad annat kan påverka den? En minskning av den offentliga sektorns omfattning mer allmänt kanske?