Economic Writing on the Pressing Problems of the Day: The Roles of Moral Intuition and Methodological Confusion

Economists are often called on to help address pressing problems of the day, yet many economists are uncomfortable about disclosing the values that they bring to this work. This essay explores how an inadequate understanding of the role of methodology, as related to ethics and human emotions of concern, underlies this reluctance and compromises the quality of economic advice. The tension between caring about the problems, on the one hand, and writing within the existing culture of the discipline, on the other, are illustrated with examples from U.S. policymaking, behavioral economics, and the economics of climate change and global poverty. Potential steps towards a more responsible, "strongly objective," and policy-useful economics are discussed.


Issue Date:
2009-04
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/179069
Series Statement:
GDAE Working Papers Series
09-03




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-27

Fulltext:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)