Tracking Homo Oeconomicus: Development of the Neoliberal Beliefs Inventory


  • Laina Y. Bay-Cheng
  • Caroline C. Fitz
  • Natalie M. Alizaga
  • Alyssa N. Zucker


Researchers across the social sciences are beginning to note that neoliberalism’s influence is no longer restricted to macroeconomic and social policies, but can now be detected in individuals’ behaviors, relationships, perceptions, and self-concept. However, psychologists lack a means of assessing neoliberal beliefs directly. We collected data from three samples of U.S. undergraduates to develop and test a measure of neoliberal ideology, the Neoliberal Beliefs Inventory (NBI). Using first exploratory and then confirmatory factor analysis, we devised a 25-item measure that is both reliable and valid, at least within a particular demographic (i.e., U.S. traditionally-aged undergraduates). The NBI may help psychologists specify and analyze the role of neoliberal ideology in shaping human behavior and functioning.