Thursday, April 14, 2011

Economists consider the price of transparency

Previously I posted about how the movie The Inside Job chronicles how conflicts of interest raise questions about the objectivity of some academic economists. Yesterday, I was interested to read in the Princeton Alumni Weekly an interview with Gerald Epstein (an economist at U. Mass.) who
circulated a petition — signed by about 300 economists — calling on the American Economic Association (AEA) to establish a code of conduct requiring that economists who work on the side for financial firms disclose these potential conflicts of interest. That follows a study he and a graduate student completed last year showing that some high-profile economists don’t reveal that they’re paid by financial firms when commenting in academic literature, government testimony, and the media. 
The Chronicle of Higher Education also has an informative article about the petition, the resulting AEA committee, and some of the past history.....

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