nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒03‒25
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Values of Economists Matter in the Art and Science of Economics By van Dalen, Harry
  2. A Tale of Two Tracks By Muhammad Asali

  1. By: van Dalen, Harry (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: What role do personal values play in the practice of economists? By means of a survey among economists working inside and outside academia in the Netherlands, we present novel insights on their personal values, how these differ from the average citizen, and how values impact their economic views and their methodological choices. Three overarching values summarize the value structure of economists: achievement, serving the public interest, and conformity to rules. Subsequent tests are performed to see whether these values affect (1) their opinion on economic propositions and (2) their attitudes towards methodological principles in economics. For the majority of economic propositions, personal values matter. Especially the value of serving the public interest has a strong effect on their economic view. Furthermore, it seems that economists who value achievement are the ones who are more likely to embrace mainstream methodological principles: thinking predominantly in terms of efficiency, rationality, and competition, believing that economic knowledge is objective and transparently produced and in agreement with Milton Friedman’s view on positive economics. Female economists are at some notable points less convinced of market solutions and have more trust in the government in serving the public interest.
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Muhammad Asali (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University; Georgia; IZA, Germany; Columbia University, NY)
    Abstract: We provide a simple framework that helps explore the need for contingent (teaching)jobs in academia alongside the usual tenured-professorship positions. It also explains the coexistence of these two types of jobs in research universities as an equilibrium phe-nomenon. Imprecisions in the academic editorial process, combined with the increasing difficulty of producing academic research, is suggested as a possible explanation for the recent increasing trend in the share of non-tenure-track teaching jobs in academia as well as the widening wage gap between tenured-professors and teaching faculty. Alter-native interpretations are explored.
    Date: 2019

This nep-sog issue is ©2019 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.