Comments on: Disclosing economists’ conflicts http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/11/08/disclosing-economists-conflicts/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: MattR http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/11/08/disclosing-economists-conflicts/comment-page-1/#comment-20675 Fri, 12 Nov 2010 18:11:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6040#comment-20675 Steve – then Felix needs to be a whole lot clearer. Can you see how this quote about Krugman (especially the second half) might lead to my confusion?

“Yet at the same time he had no problem accepting such fees as an economist, and I’m quite sure he never disclosed those fees when he was writing academic papers on financial subjects.”

]]>
By: Dollared http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/11/08/disclosing-economists-conflicts/comment-page-1/#comment-20546 Tue, 09 Nov 2010 18:06:48 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6040#comment-20546 Thanks, Felix. That this even needs to be mentioned is proof of how far our ethical standards have fallen.

What I would love to explore (academically, of course) is two factors that make this type of bribery all the more effective: 1) the increasing divergence between journalistic, public sector and academic salaries (low) and consulting fees, honoraria, etc. from large institutions (damn large – what did Summers get for working for that hedge fund one day per week?); and 2) general asset inflation, of housing in particular. Useta-be that a professor could afford a house in the town of Princeton on his/her post-tenure salary. Not so much anymore, so you gotta make that $500k somewhere else. Likewise SEC attorneys in Manhattan or San Francisco, or reporters for mid-size newspapers.

My hypothesis is that income inequality and two tiered standards of living create the fundamental material basis for corruption. If people in these roles cannot independently perform their functions AND afford to own a home and send their kids to Dartmouth, we have system failure. The subtle but overwhelming pressure to find a solution to house-and-college will produce either direct corruption or a lifetime of careful kowtowing to power and money in order to not jeopardize that exit to the private sector.

In other words, you get Washington DC, 1990-2010. I would love to see people research this.

]]>
By: SteveHamlin http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/11/08/disclosing-economists-conflicts/comment-page-1/#comment-20538 Tue, 09 Nov 2010 14:10:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6040#comment-20538 @MattR: Felix’s point is referring to the public punditry that Krugman, et al, engage in – not peer-reviewed papers.

If Krugman was a academic economist, took large fees from private interests including primarily financial firms (more than his professorial salary), and wrote columns influencing public discourse about financial reform, then those large fees would inevitably influence his non-peer-reviewed punditry and shape his advocacy (conscious or not), and the public he is influencing deserves to know about those potential (I would say inherent) conflicts. Nothing to do with his academic research, per se.

]]>
By: MattR http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/11/08/disclosing-economists-conflicts/comment-page-1/#comment-20433 Tue, 09 Nov 2010 00:02:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=6040#comment-20433 I hate to point out the false equivalence in an otherwise excellent post, but I don’t see how Paul Krugman writing academic papers that will be subject to peer review is comparable to academic economists speaking or writing for the media whose statements will never be fact checked.

]]>