Journaltalk - Preference Falsification in the Economics Profession

Preference Falsification in the Economics Profession

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  • William L. Davis
Keywords Role of Economics, Role of Economists, Market for Economists, Sociology of Economics
Volume Number 1
Issue Number 2
Pages 359-368
File URL Preference Falsification in the Economics Profession
File Format PDF
Access no registration, free access
Publication year 2004

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  1. Davis’ study demonstrates the staying power of institutions and conventions even when many people have come to disapprove of them. It seems to reveal the sense within the economics discipline that engagement in public policy discourse is at best not a priority and at worst somewhat disparaged. Davis claims that the bias of academic economics can only be adjusted from within the profession since the convention is not one subject to democratic or market pressures. The government subsidies of education, which perpetuate insulation from market pressures in particular, may have been at the root of the problem. If the academic profession treated students more like consumers, it is conceivable that the incentive to falsify preferences would not have been so widespread. Economists would have had incentive to adjust to students’ preferences, which would certainly have included a public policy approach to economics for some. Perhaps the effect of student preferences could have a smaller, delayed effect in the current academic system, as economists become more cynical about their discipline’s usefulness.

    posted 11 Mar 2011 by Stephanie Myla Helmick

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