5 thoughts on “Ethics for economists?

  1. Those standards should apply to any academic article. Where did you get funding? What axe are you trying to grind? It’s usually pretty obvious (I can look at the affiliation of the author, for example, and tell you before reading whether the article will say that urban growth boundaries negatively impact affordable housing), but it should be disclosed anyway.

  2. I know, right? I was really surprised that this isn’t already the case with economists. I’m on the editorial board for Public Works Management and Policy and we require a declaration of interest. How can it be that AEA doesn’t already?

    • I think most with an understanding of economics think UGB will affect affordability, but there are plenty of articles that say otherwise, and when you see the author’s affiliation, you understand why they conclude as they do. I remember one that concluded that there was no effect that used mean and median interchangeably. Not sure how that got published.

  3. A still deeper set conflicts of interest exist: the adamant embrace of the supposedly free market and the to-the-last-ditch resistance to regulation. Alan Greenspan recently offered us all a striking example of this sort of nonsense when he admitted surprise at the Great Recession. These beliefs sullied the last of his Fed years and probably his long-term reputation too. Academic economists with the courage of his convictions ought to leave their jobs, just as he did. Don’t waste your breath waiting for their exit. So the conflicts of interest persist. Post-2006 economics ought to be a sheepish and wry profession. It should show embarrassment and self-consciousness. It mostly doesn’t: lack of wisdom and shortage of common sense endure. Progress will again have to travel by hearse. It’s a slow trip.

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