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June 02, 2007



Just took it & I think I'm pretty close to you.

My Economic Score was -2.38
My Social Score was -3.33

What were your numbers?

Dani Rodrik

Economics: -0.8
Politics: -3.8


My co-ordinates are (-4.25,-4.92); they seem to be fairly close to those of Dalai Lama.


Oh, I am an extremist. ec -5.13, pol -7.18. Probably the result of having worked on Wall Street for many years.

I don't buy where they located Friedman. He was so libertarian that he thought the FDA should be abolished. He should have a much higher libertarian score.


I'm curious about your suggestion that bloggers should post their political "coordinates." Why should they? Can't their views be discerned through simply reading the blog (over time)? A sensible political thinker is going to realize that ideological commitments don't always hold up. Mapping them out on a chart seems to give ideology a priori status. I don't know what the use of that is other than to label blogs like we label traditional media sources (e.g., "conservative" Fox and "liberal "NPR). I, for one, would prefer to have readers willing to critique their own ideological commitments, rather than readers looking for confirmation of views they already hold.


Some of the questions are really stupid:

"If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations."

before using a test to map political preferences we should first choose reasonable questions.


Economics: -0.25
Social: -5.33

That's quite close - I find it strange that most leaders are in the top right corner!

Jeremy McKibben

I feel sorry for the guy who finds out he's got the same political orientation as Stalin and Mugabe.

Michael Greinecker

I´m rather sceptical about this test. Nevertheless:

Economic Left/Right: -4.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.26

bob mcmanus


Mike Huben

While it's nice to establish your bonafides as a great guy, it's sad that it's by means of a libertarian propaganda site. I criticize it in my Non-Libertarian FAQ (http://world.std.com/~mhuben/faq.html#nolan):

The World's Smallest Political Quiz. [Nolan Test]
This libertarian quiz asks a set of leading questions to tempt you to proclaim yourself a libertarian. The big trick is that if you answer yes to each question, you are a macho SELF GOVERNOR: there is an unspoken sneer to those who would answer anything else. It is an ideological litmus test.

The most obvious criticism of this quiz is that it tries to graph the range of politics onto only 2 axes, as if they were the only two that mattered, rather than the two libertarians want the most change in. For example, if socialists were to create such a test, they would use a different set of axes.

The second obvious criticism is typical of polls taken to show false levels of support: the questions are worded to elicit the desired response. This is called framing bias. For example, on a socialist test, you might see a question such as "Do you believe people should help each other?" Libertarians would answer "yes" to this question; the problem is the "but"s that are filtered out by the question format.

Many libertarians use this as an "outreach" (read: evangelism) tool. By making it easy to get high scores on both axes, subjects can be told that they are already a libertarian and just didn't know it. This is the same sort of suckering that cold readers and other frauds use.

I also have links to more criticisms at http://world.std.com/~mhuben/wspq.html.


Wow, I think I come off downright authoritarian in the social sphere compared to other testers. I'm going to re look at the test and think about my answers a little more carefully.


Mike Huben,

I think if you follow the link Prof. Rodrik provided, the test in question is not "the world's smallest political quiz" and is in fact, another quiz entirely. I have taken that worlds shortest political quiz before so I should know.

Mike Huben

These tests are all based on the Nolan Chart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_chart). They all suffer from the same framing and bias problems. They all attempt to label ridiculously large numbers of people libertarians. This one labels the entire bottom half libertarians.


I don't like this test either, but I think I'm the only person slightly on the right here:

Economic 1.13
Political -4.85

So I'm southwest of Friedman


I apparently am from another planet altogether

Economic Left/Right: 4.88

Justin Rietz

Can I just say that I am a Libertarian / "Ron Paul" Republican with closet anarcho-capitalist tendencies, or do I have to post the results of the test? ;-)


Well, I too am too the right on economic issues:

Economic Left/Right: 1.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.90

Did Mankiw give his coordinates? I hope I'm still to the left of him on the economic scale.

I wonder how important each question was. There were a few I was stuck on.


I came out near Ghandi

Economic Left/Right: -3.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.10

But I must say I wondered what point there was to a lot of the questions. Some of the questions I answered a particular way because I'm an athiest - what does that have to do with anything?

And there were questions where the answer may not reflect personal values at all:
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.
You could agree but think it won't work, which is a position that Milton Friedman might hold for instance.
It's natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents.
Says absolutely nothing about whether you think it is something to be avoided or not.

Barkley  Rosser

Since I am giving Rodrik a
hard time elsewhere, while I
find the test problematic

econ -3.25
politics -6.72


I wonder if this test is US centered. The left/right orientation e.g. makes only sense in a more or less homogenous society form - with a certain dispersion in beliefs but a kind of gravity center (OK maybe I come close to the "Leitkultur" debate).
I think you have to adjust the whole system if you want to apply it to other continents as Europe or Asia. Nevertheless: econ -3.50, politics -5.64.


Economic Left/Right: -2.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.69



Whew, I AM far to the left. I like the company of the Dalai Lama and Mandela.



Whew, I AM far to the left. I like the company of the Dalai Lama and Mandela.

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