IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/kyklos/v72y2019i3p472-499.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Values of Economists Matter in the Art and Science of Economics

Author

Listed:
  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen, 2019. "Values of Economists Matter in the Art and Science of Economics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(3), pages 472-499, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:72:y:2019:i:3:p:472-499
    DOI: 10.1111/kykl.12208
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12208
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Roger Gordon & Gordon B. Dahl, 2013. "Views among Economists: Professional Consensus or Point-Counterpoint?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 629-635, May.
    2. McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003. "Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 448-462, July.
    4. Nicholas Barr & Peter Diamond, 2009. "Reforming pensions: Principles, analytical errors and policy directions," International Social Security Review, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 62(2), pages 5-29, April.
    5. Colander, David, 2009. "What Was €Œit†That Robbins Was Defining?," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 437-448, December.
    6. Seeber, Marco & Cattaneo, Mattia & Meoli, Michele & Malighetti, Paolo, 2019. "Self-citations as strategic response to the use of metrics for career decisions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 478-491.
    7. James J. Heckman & Sidharth Moktan, 2020. "Publishing and promotion in economics - The tyranny of the Top Five," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 23-32, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    8. Boulding, Kenneth E, 1969. "Economics as a Moral Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 1-12, March.
    9. Hausman, Daniel M, 1989. "Economic Methodology in a Nutshell," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 115-127, Spring.
    10. David Colander, 2005. "The Making of an Economist Redux," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 175-198, Winter.
    11. David Colander & Huei-Chun Su, 2015. "Making sense of economists' positive-normative distinction," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 157-170, June.
    12. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Stengos, T., 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions," Working Papers 2003-8, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    13. Bruno Frey & Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre Pestieau & Werner Pommerehne & Friedrich Schneider, 1983. "Consensus, dissension and ideology among economists in various European countries and in the U.S," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1761, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Frey, Bruno S. & Ginsburgh, Victor & Pestieau, Pierre & Pommerehne, Werner W. & Schneider, Friedrich, 1983. "Consensus, dissension and ideology among economists in various European countries and in the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 59-69, September.
    15. Ricketts, Martin & Shoesmith, Edward, 1992. "British Economic Opinion: Positive Science or Normative Judgment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 210-215, May.
    16. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Kène Henkens, 2012. "Intended and unintended consequences of a publish‐or‐perish culture: A worldwide survey," Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 63(7), pages 1282-1293, July.
    17. M. Fourcade & E. Ollion & Y. Algan., 2015. "The Superiority of Economists," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 7.
    18. Victor R. Fuchs & Alan B. Krueger & James M. Poterba, 1998. "Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1387-1425, September.
    19. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1346-1366, December.
    20. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2013. "Economic Experts versus Average Americans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 636-642, May.
    21. David Colander, 2007. "What Was “It” that Robbins Was Defining?," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0706, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    22. Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, 1993. "American and European Economics and Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 185-193, Fall.
    23. Frey, Bruno S, et al, 1984. "Consensus and Dissension among Economists: An Empirical Inquiry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 986-994, December.
    24. Michel Lubrano & Luc Bauwens & Alan Kirman & Camelia Protopopescu, 2003. "Ranking Economics Departments in Europe: A Statistical Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1367-1401, December.
    25. Mark Blaug, 2001. "No History of Ideas, Please, We're Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 145-164, Winter.
    26. Ann Mari May & Mary G. Mcgarvey & Robert Whaples, 2014. "Are Disagreements Among Male And Female Economists Marginal At Best?: A Survey Of Aea Members And Their Views On Economics And Economic Policy," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 111-132, January.
    27. David Colander, 2015. "Intellectual Incest on the Charles: Why Economists are a little bit off," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 155-159, March.
    28. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "HOW DID PAUL KRUGMAN GET IT SO WRONG?-super-1," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 36-40, June.
    29. Mark Blaug, 2001. "No History of Ideas, Please, We're Economists: Response," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 222-222, Fall.
    30. Jonathan B. Wight, 2017. "The ethics behind efficiency," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 15-26, January.
    31. Tony Lawson, 1994. "Why are so many economists so opposed to methodology?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 105-134.
    32. David Colander, 2008. "The Making of a Global European Economist," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 215-236, May.
    33. Alston, Richard M & Kearl, J R & Vaughan, Michael B, 1992. "Is There a Consensus among Economists in the 1990's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 203-209, May.
    34. John R. Carter & Michael D. Irons, 1991. "Are Economists Different, and If So, Why?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 171-177, Spring.
    35. Ann Mari May & Mary G. McGarvey & David Kucera, 2018. "Gender and European Economic Policy: A Survey of the Views of European Economists on Contemporary Economic Policy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 162-183, February.
    36. Dan Fuller & Doris Geide-Stevenson, 2007. "Consensus on Economic Issues: A Survey of Republicans, Democrats, and Economists," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 81-94, Winter.
    37. Charles Wilber, 2004. "Ethics, human behavior and the methodology of social economics," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 19-50, January.
    38. Charles Wilber, 2004. "Ethics, human behavior and the methodology of social economics," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 19-50, March.
    39. Robert H. Frank, 2016. "Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10663.
    40. Myrdal, Gunnar, 1973. "The need for a sociology and psychology of social science and scientists," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 1(5), pages 41-46, May.
    41. Rees, Albert, 1993. "The Role of Fairness in Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 243-252, January.
    42. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1972. "Value Judgments and Economists' Role in Policy Recommendation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 1014-1018, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hendrik P. Dalen, 2021. "How the publish-or-perish principle divides a science: the case of economists," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(2), pages 1675-1694, February.
    2. Javdani, Mohsen & Chang, Ha-Joon, 2019. "Who Said or What Said? Estimating Ideological Bias in Views Among Economists," IZA Discussion Papers 12738, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. van Dalen, Hendrik Peter, 2021. "How the publish-or-perish principle divides a science: The case of economists," Other publications TiSEM a6a5a855-bb5a-4d52-a841-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Sami Diaf & Jörg Döpke & Ulrich Fritsche & Ida Rockenbach, 2020. "Sharks and minnows in a shoal of words: Measuring latent ideological positions of German economic research institutes based on text mining techniques," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 202001, University of Hamburg, Department of Socioeconomics.
    5. van Dalen, Hendrik Peter, 2020. "How the Publish-or-Perish Principle Divides a Science : The Case of Academic Economists," Discussion Paper 2020-020, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hendrik P. Dalen, 2021. "How the publish-or-perish principle divides a science: the case of economists," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(2), pages 1675-1694, February.
    2. van Dalen, Hendrik Peter, 2020. "How the Publish-or-Perish Principle Divides a Science : The Case of Academic Economists," Other publications TiSEM 6fbb6b92-0e06-4271-b6e7-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. van Dalen, Hendrik Peter, 2021. "How the publish-or-perish principle divides a science: The case of economists," Other publications TiSEM a6a5a855-bb5a-4d52-a841-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Javdani, Moshen & Chang, Ha-Joon, 2019. "Who Said or What Said? Estimating Ideological Bias in Views Among Economists," MPRA Paper 91958, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Karl Beyer & Stephan Puehringer, 2019. "Divided we stand? Professional consensus and political conflict in academic economics," ICAE Working Papers 94, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    6. Justus Haucap, 2020. "Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Politikberatung in Deutschland: Stärken, Schwächen, Optimierungspotenzial," Springer Books, in: Dirk Loerwald (ed.), Ökonomische Erkenntnisse verständlich vermitteln, pages 45-78, Springer.
    7. Timothy C. Haab & John C. Whitehead, 2017. "What do Environmental and Resource Economists Think? Results from a Survey of AERE Members," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(1), pages 43-58.
    8. O’Neill, Donal, 2015. "Divided opinion on the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013: Random or systematic differences?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 175-178.
    9. Püttmann, Vitus & Thomsen, Stephan L. & Trunzer, Johannes, 2020. "Zur Relevanz von Ausstattungsunterschieden für Forschungsleistungsvergleiche: Ein Diskussionsbeitrag für die Wirtschaftswissenschaften in Deutschland," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-679, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, revised Mar 2021.
    10. Michele Di Maio, 2013. "Are Mainstream and Heterodox Economists Different? An Empirical Analysis," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(5), pages 1315-1348, November.
    11. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl & Charlotta Stern, 2009. "The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 75-88, Autumn.
    12. Lucey, Brian M. & Delaney, Liam, 2007. "A psychological, attitudinal and professional profile of Irish economists," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 841-855, December.
    13. Raquel Carrasco & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2019. "Spatial mobility in elite academic institutions in economics: the case of Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 141-172, June.
    14. Ana Rute Cardoso & Paulo Guimarães & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2010. "Trends in Economic Research: An International Perspective," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 479-494, November.
    15. Néstor Garza & Gisell Pugliese, 2009. "Elección teórica en economía: el caso de las teorías de crecimiento de Solow, Romer y Ramsey," Revista Cuadernos de Economía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID, June.
    16. Cheng Li, 2019. "Morality and value neutrality in economics: a dualist view," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 97-118, May.
    17. Marina Riem, 2017. "Essays on the Behavior of Firms and Politicians," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 73, December.
    18. Angelina Keil & Peter Huber, 2004. "„Wo die Luft dünn wird…”– Zur Publikationstätigkeit der Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute Österreichs und Deutschlands," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(3), pages 363-375, August.
    19. Jan Ours & Frederic Vermeulen, 2007. "Ranking Dutch Economists," De Economist, Springer, vol. 155(4), pages 469-487, December.
    20. Pedro Albarrán & Raquel Carrasco & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2017. "Are Migrants More Productive Than Stayers? Some Evidence From A Set Of Highly Productive Academic Economists," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1308-1323, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:72:y:2019:i:3:p:472-499. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.