Monday, January 3, 2011

Transparency in Economics

The American Economic Association (AEA) has its annual meeting this week in Denver. The Executive Committee is considering a code of ethics to guide members that do work outside their academic or research institution requiring disclosure of the information. While this sounds like a great idea; readers of academic papers, textbooks and students in the classroom have the right to know that their professors are in the pay of other institutions, the impetus for this action is fascinating.

According to The New York Times:

The proposal, which has not been announced to the public or to the association’s 17,000 members, is partly a response to “Inside Job,” a documentary film released in October that excoriates leading academic economists for their ties to Wall Street as consultants, advisers or corporate directors.
That's right. It was not the financial meltdown per se (and the participation of members of academia in its cause), but rather a documentary film that made certain members of the profession look bad.

I will be in attendance at the conference and will be interested to see if this is discussed and adopted.

1 comment:

  1. The primary thread of continuity throughout the movie, “Inside Job,” is deregulation, promoted by short sighted politicians, greedy bankers, and academic luminaries, not to mention the greatest fool of all, former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan. In contrast to the U.S. that suffered a near total financial meltdown during late 2008, Canada escaped mostly unscathed simply because their banking system is closely regulated. See the link below to an article by economist Paul Krugman on this topic. “Adult supervision” of Wall Street will only occur in the U.S. with the advent of political campaign finance reform. Canada enacted such reform a few decades ago with their Elections Act legislation.

    Dr. Jeffrey Everson