nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒02‒03
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Economic Science and Political Influence By Saint-Paul, Gilles
  2. Views among Economists: Professional Consensus or Point-Counterpoint? By Roger Gordon; Gordon B. Dahl

  1. By: Saint-Paul, Gilles (University of Toulouse I)
    Abstract: When policymakers and private agents use models, the economists who design the model have an incentive to alter it in order to influence outcomes in a fashion consistent with their own preferences. I discuss some consequences of the existence of such ideological bias. In particular, I analyze the role of measurement infrastructures such as national statistical institutes, the extent to which intellectual competition between different schools of thought may lead to polarization of views over some parameters and at the same time to consensus over other parameters, and finally how the attempt to preserve influence can lead to degenerative research programs.
    Keywords: ideology, macroeconomic modelling, self-confirming equilibria, polarization, autocoherent models, intellectual competition, degenerative research programs, identification
    JEL: A11 E6
    Date: 2012–12
  2. By: Roger Gordon; Gordon B. Dahl
    Abstract: To what degree do economists disagree about key economic questions? To provide evidence, we make use of the responses to a series of questions posed to a distinguished panel of economists put together by the Chicago School of Business. Based on our analysis, we find a broad consensus on these many different economic issues, particularly when the past economic literature on the question is large. Any differences are unrelated to observable characteristics of the Panel members, other than men being slightly more likely to express an opinion. These differences are idiosyncratic, with no support for liberal vs. conservative camps.
    JEL: A11 H0 J0
    Date: 2013–01

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