Polls of German economists

A very interesting poll from the German FT is here (in German).  In addition to answering other questions, German economists speak to who are the important economists for the 21st century.  I'll add together the first two categories ("very important" and "somewhat important") for a total percentage measure for reported importance.  (Correction: there were 1158 respondents.)  The standings look like this:

1. Keynes: 92.4 percent

2. Paul Samuelson: 87.8 percent

3. Joseph Stiglitz: 86.0 percent

4. Milton Friedman: 84.6 percent

5. George Akerlof: 83.9 percent

6. Robert Solow: 82.5 percent

7. Joseph Schumpeter: 82.2 percent

8. Paul Krugman: 81.8 percent

9. Friedrich von Hayek: 74.6 percent

10. Amartya Sen: 71.4 percent

11. Gary Becker: 70.1 percent

12. Daniel Kahneman: 58.1 percent

13. Walter Eucken: 53.0 percent

14. Robert Shiller: 53.0 percent

15. Hyman Minsky: 34.2 percent

16. Ludwig Erhard: 30.3 percent

Based on my observation, I believe the supporters of Hayek, Eucken (a classical liberal), and Erhard are relatively old and that this strand of thought is losing ground in German academia.

The party membership of these same economists is striking for its relative rejection of the two largest parties:

CDU/CSU (currently the major coalition partner) 14.1

SPD (the second major party and somewhat to the left of CDU/CSU)


FDP (the market-oriented party)


Grüne (Greens) 25.3 Die Linke (dare I call them the communists?) 1.8 0 Other 1.9 0

No preference


I take this to reflect that German economists are more intellectual, and more philosophical, than their American peers and thus more likely to adhere to a consistent philosophy of some kind or another.  They are less likely to affiliate with mainstream political thought.

You will find more questions and answers here.  By a 2.5 to 1 margin (roughly), German economists think that the U.S. taxation system should be more progressive.  By almost 2 to 1 they think economics has become too formal.  There are very mixed answers on whether Germany needs to overhaul its export-oriented growth model, but few German economists favor a total overhaul.

Here are their answers on what makes for a good economist, again all in German.  These I did not find so startling.

For the pointers to this treasure trove of data, I thank Mathias Burger.


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