Journaltalk - Where Would Adam Smith Publish Today? The Near Absence of Math-free Research in Top Journals

Where Would Adam Smith Publish Today? The Near Absence of Math-free Research in Top Journals

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  • Daniel Sutter
  • Rex Pjesky
Keywords Economic methodology, technical research, model building, regression analysis
Volume Number 4
Issue Number 2
Pages 230-240
File URL Where Would Adam Smith Publish Today? The Near Absence of Math-free Research in Top Journals
File Format PDF
Access no registration, free access
Publication year 2007

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  1. I agree with Sutter and Pjesky’s observation. Their article brings to light a change that has occurred within the economics profession of slowly becoming a club exclusive to the profession (and hierarchical within). They also bring to light a more fundamental point about economics: Would Adam Smith want to publish in one of the top journals?

    Adam Smith actively participated in public discourse. See Klein for a good discussion on public discourse in modern economics. There are few examples, if any, of a recent article in a top journal that is directed towards public discourse. Economists write for other economists.

    Many of the great minds cited by Sutter and Pjesky such as Smith, the Mills, and Hayek also engaged in public discourse intended to reach audiences beyond the halls of academic economists. Smith would surely maintain open debate among scholars; he did so with Hume. Adam Smith would likely eschew publishing in a top journal. I think he would prefer to engage the public sphere outside the economics profession.

    The economics profession, and society, would benefit from more economists engaging in public discourse. Sutter and Pjesky’s article opens the door for a discussion on the purpose of the profession.

    posted 22 Apr 2010 by Jonathon Diesel

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