Let’s be ethical, economists say
Last month’s special report “For some professors, disclosure is academic” has been making waves in the academic world, as this story shows:
Economists urge AEA to adopt ethics code: letter
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Almost three hundred economists have signed a letter to the American Economic Association “strongly” urging it to adopt a code of ethics requiring disclosure of potential conflicts of interests.
The 135-year-old American Economic Association, or AEA, does not have a code of conduct for its approximately 18,000 members. Over half of its members are academics, according to its website.
“We strongly urge that the AEA create and then promote adherence to a professional code of ethics that at a minimum requires transparency with respect to potential conflicts of interest,” Gerald Epstein and Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth of the University of Massachussetts, Amherst wrote in a letter sent Monday to the AEA.
“We believe this would be an important and necessary step toward enhancing the credibility and integrity of the profession,” they wrote.
The letter was signed by 292 economists, including former White House advisor Christina Romer and Nobel Laureate George Akerlof.
In the original special report, Emily Flitter, Kristina Cooke and Pedro da Costa reviewed 96 testimonies given by 82 academics to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee between late 2008 and early 2010 — as lawmakers debated the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s — and found no clear standard for disclosure.
To read the special report in multimedia PDF format, click here.