UMass Economics

AEA debates role of ethics

Gerald Epstein

When the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, the world’s largest professional society for economists, convened Jan. 6 in Denver, the first day included a debate on the role of ethics in the profession. The move is in response to criticism of many economists who comment in the media or give professional testimony about economic issues without disclosing their personal and financial ties to the industries they are discussing. Epstein and graduate student Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth recently published a paper that found many of the financial economists who weighed in on new federal regulation of Wall Street didn’t disclose their potential conflicts of interest. (The Economist, 1/6/11)

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