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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Conflicts of interest in the economics profession received attention after the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. There is evidence that some academic economists hold one or more significant financial interests in addition to their university positions. We argue the economics profession must adopt and codify rules to deal with potential conflicts of interest. Economists should disclose all potential conflicts of interest in their publications, presentations, interviews, and in Congressional testimony. The economics profession must delineate situations when disclosure is not sufficient and complete avoidance of the conflict of interest must occur. For conflicts of interest policies to be effective, disclosure and avoidance requirements need to be monitored and enforced. In lieu of a licensing agency, this can be accomplished by a combination of university conflicts of interest policies, a professional conflict of interest policy, rules by journals, such as those published by the American Economic Association, and research organizations, such as the National Bureau for Economic Research.

Keywords: avoidance of conflicts of interest, conflicts of Interest, disclosure, professional Ethics

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