Working Papers

Are Australian Economists a Bevy of Camp-Following Whores?

I have an article at The Conversation on the results of a survey of the policy views of members of the Economic Society of Australia. Along with poorly worded questions, the survey suffers from a selection bias problem. The survey is arguably more representative of those ESA members interested in public policy than of economists more generally.

Judy Sloan beat me to the punch in commenting on the response to the minimum wage question. As Sloan quotes Jim Buchanan:

no self-respecting economist would claim that increases in the minimum wage increase employment. Such a claim, if seriously advanced, becomes equivalent to a denial that there is even minimum scientific content in economics, and that, in consequence, economists can do nothing but write as advocates for ideological interests. Fortunately, only a handful of economists are willing to throw over the teaching of two centuries; we have not yet become a bevy of camp-following whores.

Except for the majority of ESA members, it seems.

UPDATE: John Tierney considers selection bias in the US academy.

posted on 26 July 2011 by skirchner in Economics, Politics

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