Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The financial corruption of the economics profession

[Apologies for x-posting this from Apps: http://www.newappsblog.com/2010/10/the-financial-corruption-of-the-economics-profession.html, but the regulars here are familiar with my self-promotional activities!]
In general I argue that philosophers and citizens more generally ought to be more economically literate than they tend to be. In my view a lot of criticism of contemporary economics is based on conflation between political rhetoric and the complex reality of economic research. (Such criticism also often conflates a lot of different trends within economics.)

Nevertheless, there is a class of economists that have leveraged their economic expertise and have become part of revolving door between academia, industry, and government. (Often they also become apologists of worst abuses by foreign dictatorships from Left and Right!) What is significant about the piece below is that it exposes the financial incentives that tempt economists. It may be well over due that when economists publish journal articles and textbooks that they reveal not just research grants, but also their consulting fees/sources? It would be strange if economists, of all people, would think that (financial) incentives don't matter.


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