- The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics
- Introduction, or Why This Handbook?
- The <i>Skin-in-the-Game</i> Heuristic for Protection Against Tail Events
- The Ethics of Economic Decision Rules
- In Praise of Imperfect Commitment: An Ethic of Power, Professionalism and Risk
- “Econogenic Harm”: On the Nature of and Responsibility for the Harm Economists Do as They Try to Do Good
- About Doing the Right Thing as an Academic Economist
- The Social Responsibility of Economists
- The Ethical Economist: Duty and Virtue in the Scientific Process
- Ethics in Relation to Economics, Ecology, and Eschatology
- Poisoning the Well, or How Economic Theory Damages Moral Imagination
- Economists’ Odd Stand on the Positive–Normative Distinction: A Behavioral Economics View
- The Complex Ethical Consequences of “Simple” Theoretical Choices
- Good, Evil, and Economic Practice
- Alternative Ethical Perspectives on the Financial Crisis: Lessons for Economists
- Economists’ Ethics in the Build-Up to the Great Recession
- Ethics and Advances in Economic Science: The Role of Two Norms
- The Meaning of <i>Deceive</i> in Experimental Economic Science
- Honesty and Integrity in Econometrics
- Lady Justice Versus Cult of Statistical Significance: Oomph-less Science and the New Rule of Law
- Balancing Risk and Benefit: Ethical Tradeoffs in Running Randomized Evaluations
- Conducting Ethical Economic Research: Complications from the Field
- The Unprincipled Randomization Principle in Economics and Medicine
- Professional Disequilibrium: Conflict of Interest in Economics
- Considerations on Conflict of Interest in Academic Economics
- Ethics, Economic Advice, and Economic Policy
- Neoclassical Economics as the New Social Engineering: The Debacle of the Russian Post-Socialist Transition
- The Ethics of Economic Development and Human Displacement
- How Can We Better Address the Gaps in our Knowledge about Development Effectiveness?
- Confessions of a Policy Analyst
- Ethics and the Government Economist
- The Ethics Problem: Toward a Second-Best Solution to the Problem of Economic Expertise
- First Tell No Untruth
- Ethical Issues in Forensic Economics
- Exposure and Dialogue Programs in the Training of Development Analysts and Practitioners
- Ethics and Learning in Undergraduate Economics Education
- Creating Humble Economists: A Code of Ethics for Economists
- Codes of Ethics for Economists, Pluralism, and the Nature of Economic Knowledge
- Author Index
Abstract and Keywords
The economics profession lags behind others in adopting policies to regulate conflict of interest. The purposes of conflict of interest regulations, which are often misunderstood, are to minimize bias in research and maintain confidence in the profession. With only minimal rules of professional ethics (such as those in the American Economics Association code), the work that economists publish and advice they give are at risk of manifesting analytic bias and generating public distrust. More effective procedures for regulating conflicts must go beyond disclosure. They include divesting, creating blind trusts, pooling multiple sources of support, and establishing an independent oversight bodies. Some relationships may have to be prohibited when the source of support is closely related to the research. Failure to deal with the challenge of conflict of interest is likely to undermine efforts to address the other serious problems the profession faces today.
Keywords: American Economics Association (AEA), bias, blind trusts, conflict of interest, disclosure, economics profession, ethics, ethics code, oversight, professional ethics, public confidence, regulation, research
Dennis Thompson is Professor of Government and Alfred North Whitehead Professor of Political Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Public Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is also the founding Director of the University Center for Ethics and the Professions (now the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics).
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